Furious TD slams sex offender loop hole that could let pervs erase details of vile crimes from internet
- Published: 8:00, 23 Apr 2023
A TD has spoken of his concern that sex offenders can use an EU loophole to erase digital reports in the media of their convictions.
Furious Denis Naughten insists sickos should not be able to scrub details of their vile crimes from the internet.
Mr Naughten also said sex offenders must not be able to change their name by deed poll to evade monitoring by cops.
Speaking to The Irish Sun on Sunday last night, the Independent politician fired off an alert that Ireland could become a safe haven for paedophiles.
Roscommon-Galway TD Naughten told us: “I believe there are key weaknesses in the legislation.”
The Independent politician this week raised his concerns with Justice Minister Simon Harris. Mr Naughten urged Harris “to take steps” to stop convicted sex offenders using the EU digital right to be forgotten to wipe reports of their convictions off the web.
He also called for urgent action to prevent convicted sex offenders circumventing their monitoring through a name change. In response, Fine Gael Minister Harris claimed there was “a robust system” for keeping tabs on sex offenders.
Mr Harris insisted the system will be “strengthened” when the Sex Offenders (Amendment) Act 2023 due to be rolled out later this year.
The Justice Minister said the new law will reduce the period for sex offenders to inform cops of their name and address upon leaving prison from seven to three days.
But last night, Mr Naughten was still alarmed.
He told The Irish Sun on Sunday: “I don’t accept that we have a ‘robust framework’ to monitor convicted sex offenders who deliberately use the deed poll mechanism to change their name to avoid detection either here or in the UK. In fact I have been working with Sarah Champion MP to try to address this issue in both jurisdictions.
“I want to see legal restrictions brought forward to preclude those on the sex offenders’ register from changing their name. I also want to see a responsibility on the court service to make the Gardai aware of decisions to grant changes.
“Over the last decade as I have campaigned to have a proper and effective sexual offenders’ register, I have been confronted by arguments regarding the rights of offenders.
“I believe it’s now time to change this balance in favour of victims and ensure their stories are not brushed under the electronic carpet by giving sex offenders the right to be forgotten.”