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Justice Minister resolves to change ruling that prevents naming child victims after their death

The ruling, which was given in October, means that children who are killed cannot be identified.

Image: Shutterstock/D. Ribeiro

THE MINISTER FOR Justice has promised to bring proposals to Cabinet to address a court ruling that prevents children who are killed in criminal circumstances being named publicly after their death.

Minister Helen McEntee said it was “wrong” that parents were caused pain by not being able 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,” McEntee said.

“This is wrong and I will change it. My officials have been working on how we can solve this problem and I will bring proposals on how we will fix this to Cabinet next week.”

McEntee was responding to a mother of a murdered schoolboy who has called for a change to the law.

“None of us can imagine this mother’s heartbreak, and I offer my deepest sympathies to her. I will ensure the law does not cause her and other parents more pain,” McEntee said.

The mother, who also cannot be named because of the court ruling, appealed to the minister to fast-track plans to overturn the ban.

Her 11-year-old son was murdered in the south-west of the country.

A man, 28, was sentenced to life in prison today for the child’s murder.

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He is one of multiple child victims in Ireland who cannot be publicly identified since the ruling came into effect late last year.

In October, Judge George Birmingham delivered a judgement in the Court of Appeal that interpreted the Children Act 2001 to mean that long-established reporting restrictions on identifying children where offences are committed against them also applies to children who have died or turned 18.

Reporters are prohibited from sharing the name, address, schools, or other identifying details about children who have had offences committed against them or were a witness to an offence.

However, the ruling in October meant that the restriction was extended to include children who have passed away.

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