News Irish News

Thursday 18 July 2019

Inheritance law for killers to be tested against past cases

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Tony Gavin
Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Tony Gavin
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

New laws to block killers benefiting from their crimes will be tested against cases where the killer may have been a victim of domestic abuse.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan wants new inheritance law reforms to be examined outside of the context of recent high-profile cases, such as the death of Clodagh Hawe and her children.

He said there are a number of complex issues that need to be addressed in the amendments to the law, originally proposed by Fianna Fáil.

The private members' bill - dubbed 'Celine's Law' after production company owner Celine Cawley, who was killed by her husband Eamonn Lillis - was tabled two years ago.

But the minister told the Dáil he wants to see the proposals tested across a variety of circumstances where sympathy may be expressed with the perpetrator of a crime.

"This is a most complex area of law and I am anxious to ensure there are no unintended consequences or indeed unforeseen consequence," he said.

"Indeed, it is important to consider the matter in the wider context of the recent [Hawe] case that has been discussed in this House.

"One could possibly imagine a similar case arising in the circumstances of long-term domestic violence where natural justice and public sympathies might lie with the perpetrator rather than the victim.

"Another example worthy of consideration is where a perpetrator had a child from a previous relationship and the rights of that child need to be considered," added Mr Flanagan.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News