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TD's appeal to bring in Clare's Law

WOMEN in Ireland should have access to a domestic violence register to determine if their partner has a dark past, campaigners have urged.

A scheme known as Clare's Law, recently introduced in England and Wales, has given women the 'right to know' if their boyfriend or husband has a history of violence.

The initiative was brought into legislation following a long campaign by Michael Brown, whose daughter Clare was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

Clare Wood (36) was strangled before being set on fire by her former partner George Appleton at her home in Manchester in 2009.

Appleton had an horrific history of violence against women including repeated harassment and threats. Her father said that if she knew about his past, she would have thought twice before dating Mr Appleton after they met on Facebook.

Officially called the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, the initiative is designed to provide victims with information that may protect them from abuse.

Now, Ireland should introduce a similar system, according to the chair of the Oireachtas Justice Committee.

Fine Gael TD David Stanton said women here deserved access to criminal files on domestic abusers.

WELCOME

The roll-out of the legislation in the UK coincided with International Women's Day.

Mr Stanton said that the committee has been listening to the voices of those who have been affected by domestic violence in Ireland. And he said that a similar law in Ireland would be most welcome.

"I look forward to the production of the committee report, which I hope will be acted upon without delay by the government," he said.

CMURPHY@HERALD.IE


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