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Proposal to amend Children Act approved by Cabinet
Justice minister Helen McEntee Pic: RollingNews.ie

10 Feb 2021 / legislation Print

Proposal to amend Children Act approved by Cabinet

Justice minister Helen McEntee has received Government approval to progress changes to section 252 of the Children Act 2001.

This action is being taken in order to address issues arising out of the Court of Appeal ruling in DPP v EC and Media Outlets.

The ruling has prevented parents from speaking publicly about their deceased child in cases where the child was unlawfully killed, and has also prevented the naming of the person accused or convicted of the manslaughter or murder of the child. 

Minister McEntee said “The profoundly negative impact the ruling is having on grieving parents, unable to remember their deceased children’s names or legacies in public, is very clear to me.

Change

“I am determined to work to change this as quickly as possible and to give parents back their voice so they can speak publicly about how they want their children to be remembered. This is only right and it is only fair.”

Minister McEntee clarified that it is also important that the amendments do not give rise to any unintended consequences that might impact on the protection afforded by the Act to child witnesses or other child victims in the criminal justice process.

The Cabinet also agreed that the Bill will be taken in Government time in the Seanad in the coming weeks with a view to its enactment as soon as possible.

Gazette Desk
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