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16th Jun 2023

Muireann O’Connell says she felt ‘powerless’ after being inappropriately touched by a stranger

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Muireann O’Connell has opened up on a traumatic experience after she was inappropriately touched by a stranger, leaving her feeling “powerless”.

Taking to Instagram, the presenter shared details of the incident which left her shook to her core.

The Ireland AM star said: “Ok so I had this on Stories, but thought I’d put it here because it appears to have happened to a lot of people.

“While we were getting this shot, a complete stranger came up and pinched my arse. We all assumed it was someone we knew, it was a joke but… Nope.”

Muireann continued: “When my brain clicked in, I felt like a complete idiot for not running after him and… doing I don’t know what.

“Now I know that this is nothing in comparison to what happens to people without their consent everyday.”

“I also know that worse happened to most of us as young ones when we were simply walking through a packed pub or nightclub but I just assumed that being older, I’d have the cop on to do… something. But my training kicked in and it was to do anything to avoid a fuss.”

“I’m not in anyway traumatised by someone pinching my arse. When the right person does it, deeelightful! It was the response to it that got me. Be quiet, say nothing.”

She went on to say that everyone who was with her at the time had the same reaction, nobody could quite believe what had just happened.

“Everyone who was there was the exact same,” Muireann continued. “They all said ‘did that actually happen?’ They were LOVELY and we moved on, cause I wanted to move on.

“But it’s weird, right… that powerlessness. Something I think has happened to a lot of us but we don’t say anything…. I still don’t know what I’d do if it happened again but I’d like to think I’d at least roar at the f**ker.

“I just wanted to say it out loud so we could perhaps all realise it’s ok to ROAR at the f**ker.

“I know a lot of people are gonna say that they would punch him, slap him….whatever but the messages on stories are the same as mine. Freeze. Don’t make a fuss and it just sits in your head, the disappointment in your own response while he’ll never think about it again. Anyway… again, I know, not a big deal!”

She then went to her Stories to share a text box, asking her followers to share their own experiences if they felt comfortable to do so.

After receiving “so, so many messages from people of all sexes and genders”, Muireann said: “Jesus, it’s f**king awful and infuriating and properly upsetting. Truly sorry for every single one of your experiences. All so valid.”


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