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'We'll change law on naming murdered kids' - Martin

 

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin

Taoiseach Micheál Martin

Taoiseach Micheál Martin

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has promised that the law will be changed so that the identity of murdered children can once again be reported.

He said the Government will be in a position to do this early this year and spoke of the importance of transparency over the identity of those who are murdered.

Section 252 of the Children Act, 2001, provides mandatory and automatic reporting restrictions in the case of "any proceedings for an offence against a child".

In October, the Court of Appeal found that these prohibitions extend to children who have died.

As well as imposing restrictions on the media reporting important details of court cases, the ruling meant that parents whose child was ­murdered could not publicise charities in their child's name.

It also prevents adults who were abused as children from waiving their right to anonymity.

In a recent round-table interview with journalists, Mr Martin was asked when the law will be changed.

"It will be early next year (2021) that we will be in a position to do that," he said.

"I know the Attorney General is working on that with the Minister for Justice. It has to be changed and we will.

"The specific nature of how we do it, we will have to wait to see the detail of that.

"I believe in transparency on issues like that. Of course, we should know who is murdered.

"In certain circumstances it is essential (to know this)."

Last month, it was reported how a grieving father who wants to set up a charity in the name of his son will not be able to publicise it because of the court ruling on identifying children who are victims of crime.

The man, who lost his son and two other children in tragic circumstances, spoke of his "hurt and anger" over the ruling, which effectively gags parents in his situation from naming their children in the media.

Shout

The father-of-three, who also cannot be named because it could lead to the identification of his children, pointed out that all three of them had names and he said: "I need to be able to shout their names from the rooftops."

"I need to talk about (names removed for legal reasons) and I need to celebrate their all-too-short lives," he said.

"I'm only seeking that child victims be named so as to help us heal. Part of that healing is the promises I made to (names removed for legal reasons)."

The Court of Appeal ruled that a child who is dead cannot be identified when someone is charged with taking their life.

This ruling means the person charged with such a murder or manslaughter cannot be named if, by doing so, it would also reveal details of the young person.


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