Sunday 18 February 2018

Shatter fights on, but battle is far from won

Sam Smyth

NO one who knows him doubts Alan Shatter's determination to bring the Roman Catholic Church to heel after the latest litany of clerical child abuse and cover-ups in Cloyne. The Taoiseach and the Tanaiste's anger yesterday reflected the Justice Minister's fury, and today the Government will announce further child-protection measures.

Mr Shatter's new law to force the disclosure of even a suspicion of child abuse will carry a five-year jail term on conviction. But then another law, in response to the Ferns report and rushed though in 2006, had a 10-year sentence for very much the same offence.

So, like many other initiatives announced in the immediate wake of the latest child-abuse scandal, the latest new law has as much to do with assuaging public anger than jailing child-abusing clergy.

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