Bill to allow child murder victims to be named could be made law by end of March, McEntee says
THE BILL TO allow media and others report the names of child murder victims has been passed through all stages of the Seanad. © Sam Boal File image of minister Helen McEntee in December.
The Justice Minister Helen McEntee said she wants to ensure this legislation is enacted by the end of this month.
The Bill, which was put forward by Senator Michael McDowell, will now progress through the Dáil.
The issue has arisen as a result of a recent Court of Appeal decision about the reporting of certain murder cases.
That ruling considerably changed certain long-standing practices related to how the media reports on child murders.
The Court of Appeal ruled last October that children who are killed in criminal circumstances cannot be named publicly after their death.
It led to a significant change in the reporting of child killings once a person is charged in relation to the offence, including restrictions on naming those charged if that could lead to the identification of the victim. A number of high-profile cases have been impacted in the intervening months.
Families of children who have been killed have also spoken about how the law has prevented them from speaking publicly about their child.
The Justice Minister Helen McEntee said she hopes this “really important piece of legislation” can be enacted “without delay”.
“I look forward to constructively engaging with my colleagues in the Dáil and having their support to make sure that this legislation is enacted by the end of the month,” she said.
“We cannot continue to have parents not able to speak their child’s name aloud and remember them in the way that they want to.
“This is about giving power back to those parents to remember their children and secure their children’s legacies.”