Ministers welcome new bills to tackle sex offenders

Minister Denis Naughten

Minister Denis Naughten

Local Ministers Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran (Ind ) and Denis Naughten (Ind ) have both welcomed the news that the Government is prioritising legislation aimed at tackling sex offenders.

Before taking on his current role as Minister of State for the office of Public Works, Moran sponsored The Commission of Sexual Offences (Amendment ) Bill last summer. The bill provided that sexual offenders, who have served five years or more, be sentenced to at least three-quarters of the maximum allowable sentence for subsequent offences.

It also sought to add a schedule of serious sexual offence including incest rape, serious sexual assault, child pornography, and child trafficking to the Criminal Justice Act of 2007.

The bill is expected to be enacted in this Dáil term.

“The prioritising of the legislation shows for me how one Independent TD can make a different in Government,” said Minister Moran.

Minister Denis Naughten too has confirmed that a law to reform the monitoring of high-risk sex offenders post release from prison, including the possibility of electronically tagging offenders, has made a further step forward with Government approval to prioritise this legislation for 2018.

In 2012, Naughten had initiated the Child Sex Offenders (Information and Monitoring ) Bill aimed at closing a number of loopholes being exploited by convicted sex offenders, which had been accepted by the Government.

“The current law governing the conditions for registration, the Sex Offenders Act 2001, needs to be urgently reformed to ensure more effective management of high risk sex offenders,” stated Minister Naughten.

“The new law will close off a number of gaping loopholes within our so-called sex offenders register and Gardaí will be given the legal tools to effectively monitor those who pose a risk to children and vulnerable adults.

“The monitoring of sex offenders will be dramatically improved and I believe that parents should have a right to access information regarding high risk offenders who may have direct access to their son or daughter,” the minister concluded.

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