Call for Irish version of 'Sarah's Law' as 1,500 sex offenders roam the country

Calls for more information about sex offenders to be made availabe to the public
Calls for more information about sex offenders to be made availabe to the public

An Independent TD has called for a change to Ireland's laws so that the public can know where released sex offenders are living.

In today's Irish Daily Mirror, Denis Naughten has called for an Irish version of 'Sarah's Law'  to be brought in.

The legislation is in place in the UK and it is named after Sarah Payne, who was murdered by convicted paedophile Roy Whiting in 2000.

It allows parents to ask police if someone is on the register and it also allows for the authorities to warn locals if a high-risk offender moves into the area.

In Ireland, there is a sex offenders register but the locations of those back on the streets is kept by gardai for 'operational reasons'. 

The paper also reveals that there are 1,449 sex offenders on the loose in Ireland, with a further 104 set to be released in 2016.

Naughten says he has drafted legislation very similar to Sarah's Law in a bid to allow the public to be more aware of potential danger in their area.

He tells the paper: "All a person has to do to comply with existing law is notify gardai within seven days of their release from prison and within seven days of a change of address.

"The legislation would close off some other gaping loopholes regarding the sex offenders register. It would reduce the seven day notification period to three days and registered sex offenders would have to give fingerprints and photographs so officers would actually know what they look like."

Naughten also hoped that proposed laws on electronic tagging could be enacted as soon as possible so that the authorities could monitor the most dangerous offenders on our streets.