Majella Moynihan was born in Kanturk, Co. Cork and raised in St. Joseph's Industrial School for Girls, Mallow. She served in An Garda Siochana for fifteen years, from 1983 to 1998. In 1984, she gave birth to a son, whom she was forced to give up for adoption, having been charged with breach of Garda disciplinary regulations for having sexual intercourse and giving birth outside of marriage. In 2019, on foot of an RTE Radio 1 documentary about her story, Majella received an official state apology. She lives in Dublin. A Guarded Life is her first book.