Healy O'Connor

New Child Protection Measures

Child Protection: Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said promised child protection measures are “very much on target”, with legislation to be published by the end of next month.

Mr Shatter said moves to put the obligatory reporting of child abuse to gardaí, as well as the vetting of adults who work with children, on a statutory footing were well under way. “We’re very much on target with where we’re going to. The draft Bills – both with regard to providing for statutory provisions for vetting and also to ensure that there’s a legal obligation on those who become aware that children are being abused to make reports to the gardaí – both those draft Bills were published at the end of July.”

Mr Shatter was referring to the National Vetting Bureau Bill and the Criminal Justice (Withholding Information on Crimes against Children and Vulnerable Adults) Bill. “They’re both gone to the joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Defence so they have an opportunity to deliberate on them. I’ve asked them to come back to us by the end of September, and the objective is to publish the legislation towards the end of October.”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said a reference to Mr Noonan in the Vatican document would be “dealt with in the Government’s response to the Vatican’s letter”. The Holy See noted Mr Noonan, when minister for health in March 1997, told the Dáil the government had decided not to introduce mandatory reporting.

(The Irish Times, 5th September 2011)

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