Tough new abuse laws will not mention confession
PRIESTS can be jailed for up to five years if they fail to report paedophiles to gardai under a proposed new law.
However, the legislation will not contain any reference to the confession box, an issue which Justice Minister Alan Shatter said yesterday was a "bogus side issue".
The laws, designed to strengthen child protection, are part of a new bill being introduced by the Government after the Cloyne Report revealed another cover-up of clerical sex abuse.
Mr Shatter yesterday said the law would apply to priests even though there would be no mention of them in the legislation.
He said it was to "ensure those who know children were being abused informed the gardai, abusers were brought to justice and that other children were protected".
Catholic priests could face excommunication if they revealed anything they were told in confession.