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Dublin: 2 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019
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TD says new law should give parents access to sex offender details

TD Denis Naughten who published the bill this week said Garda intelligence should be used to protect our children.

Image: Chris Young/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TD DENIS NAUGHTEN has published a new law which would give information to parents regarding a paedophile living in their community.

The law would allow Gardaí to disclose information of sex offenders to the parents of children and vulnerable adults if they believe that child is at risk.

Explaining his reason for drafting the bill, Naughten said “Garda intelligence has a meaningful role to play in protecting our children, but at present a large body of such intelligence and other important information concerning individuals sits passively on the Garda information systems.”

“It is my hope that through the measures contained in the bill we can put that information to work in the interests of child protection,” he said.

The bill proposes the establishment of a system which would enable parents to enquire whether persons coming into contact with their child have been convicted of a sexual offence or otherwise pose a serious danger.

It would also provide a similar entitlement for persons in authority in schools and clubs.

The system is modelled on Sarah’s Law which operated in the UK through the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme.

Sarah’s Law is so named after 8-year-old Sarah Payne who was abducted and murdered in the UK in 2000 by a sex offender. The law allows members of the public to to ask the police for disclosure about people who have unsupervised access to children.

However, Naughten said the Irish law would have more limitations than the UK law restricting access to information parents and guardians who can show reason for the request.

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