| 5.4°C Dublin

new proposal Varadkar says bill to reverse ban on naming child murder victims can be done ‘quite quickly’

The bill brought to Cabinet by Justice Minister Helen McEntee on Tuesday seeks to reverse a court ruling that child murder victims cannot be named.

Close

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

A new bill to reverse a court ruling that banned naming child murder victims once a person has been charged with the offence can be done “quite quickly”, the Tanaiste said.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee brought legislation from an existing bill to Cabinet for approval on Tuesday.

Speaking after that Cabinet meeting, Leo Varadkar said the Government was keen to correct this “as quickly as we could”.

That has had a very serious impact on those families and on parents, we've heard what they have to sayLeo Varadkar

He said: “A decision was made on the courts which interpreted the law in a particular way, which doesn’t allow children who are victims of serious crimes, children who have been murdered, to be named.

“That has had a very serious impact on those families and on parents, we’ve heard what they have to say.

“So we’re keen to correct this practice as quickly as we could.”

The bill was drafted by Independent Senator Michael McDowell, and was recognised by Government as offering a speedy resolution to the Court of Appeal ruling last October.

Mr Varadkar said: “That gave us a time slot in the Seanad, so Minster McEntee is doing the practical thing, and she’s accepting that bill, using a Private Members time in the Seanad to advance it.

“We’ll amend it because there are some flaws in it, but it will allow us to get it done quickly.”

The ruling last October led to significant changes in the reporting of child murders, an issue that has come to the fore in recent weeks.

The court found that Section 252 of the Children’s Act 2001 has a much broader application than originally thought.

The decision meant that once a person has been charged with an offence related to a child victim, new restrictions come into effect preventing the identification of that victim.

This included restrictions on naming those charged with the offence, if it could identify the victim.

Minister McEntee had promised to tackle the issue in recent weeks, by bringing proposals to Cabinet.

Following campaigns by families of child victims, the Minister said that it was “wrong” that parents were suffering because they were unable to remember their child by name.

“Every child’s name must be remembered.

“No parent should be stopped from preserving the legacy of their children,” Ms McEntee said.

“This is wrong and I will change it.”

Online Editors


Top Videos





Privacy