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Saturday 7 December 2019

No mandatory vetting of people working with children

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

THE sex offenders' register was introduced as part of the Sex Offenders Act 2001. While judges order those convicted of sex abuse to be placed on the "sex offenders' register", there is actually no register as such.

Instead, the Garda Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit is notified by local garda stations when a person on the register is living in their area and holds this information centrally.

Gardai do not monitor those on the register. However, they can investigate if an offender moves address and does not alert gardai in their new area.

Those on the register must notify gardai of their address within seven days of being released from prison. And it is a criminal offence not to notify your employer if you have been convicted of a sex crime and have access to children through your work.

However, apart from state employees and those contracted to provide state services, there is currently no general requirement that people working with children are vetted by gardai.

It is also not possible to find out if a sex offender is living in your area.

Irish Independent

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