Sunday 21 January 2018

TD bids for new law on abusers

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Gardai will be able to disclose information about high-risk sex offenders to parents – if a child is in danger – under legislation due before the Dail shortly.

The proposed legislation is modelled on Sarah's Law, enacted in the UK following the murder of seven-year-old Sarah Payne in 2000 at the hands of a convicted sex offender.

In an opinion piece in today's Irish Independent, Roscommon-Leitrim Independent TD Denis Naughten – who has put forward the bill – warned that we need to act to avoid a tragedy like the murder of Sarah Payne happening to an Irish girl.

The Child Sex Offenders Information and Monitoring Bill was introduced last October by the Reform Alliance TD as a private members' bill, with the Government saying it would not oppose it at second stage.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said then that the bill provided "a valuable opportunity to discuss in the Dail, risks posed to children by paedophiles".

The reform would see Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan liaise with the Department of Justice to draft rules on how gardai might release information on a known sex offender.

Irish Independent

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