Minister of State for the OPW and Longford/Westmeath TD, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran
Minister of State for the OPW and Longford/Westmeath TD, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, has said the adoption by Government of his Private Members Bill provisions seeking longer jail terms for serial sex offenders is a triumph of new politics and a significant step towards the greater protection of women and children.
At today’s Cabinet meeting, the decision was taken that the Criminal Justice (Commission of Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2017, originally proposed by Minister Moran as a Private Members Bill in April, will now be processed as Government legislation, with amendments.
The Cabinet agreed to bring forward proposals to target repeat sexual offenders which would broadly reflect that proposed by Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran in his Bill – the Criminal Justice (Commission of Sexual Offences) (Amendment) Bill 2017. Cabinet also approved Minister Charlie Flanagan’s proposals to amend the gender anomaly with respect to incest.
“Both issues will be contained in a Government Bill which Minister Flanagan will seek Cabinet approval for in the Autumn,” said Minister Moran.
“I am truly delighted that my original Bill’s proposals are now being taken on by Government.” Minister Moran continued, “My motivation for introducing the Bill is a result of meaning a constituent of mine, Debbie Cole, who has long campaigned for the victims of sex offenders.
“Debbie Cole and victims like her deserve great credit and huge respect for consistently highlighting the need for Government to introduce stronger and effective sentences to deter serial sex offenders.
“I am absolutely delighted that I have been in a position to effect change and the fact that this Bill is now becoming part of Government legislation programme reflects the change that can happen from the Independent Alliance.”
Speaking following the Government meeting, Minister Flanagan stated: “Today Cabinet approved a number of proposals to strengthen the penalties for repeat sexual offenders and to amend existing incest laws.
“The major provisions with regard to the establishment of minimum mandatory sentences for repeat sexual offenders are based on the work of Minister of State Moran and I would like to acknowledge his commitment and dedication in working with my department to develop these proposals.
“There are already provisions in place under the Criminal Justice Act 2007 to allow for minimum sentences to be imposed for certain repeat offenders and these new proposals will bring serious sex offenders within the scope of those provisions.
“Today Cabinet also approved my proposals to bring forward measures to address a gender anomaly with respect to the penalties for incest. I consider it appropriate that both issues could be addressed in a single Bill. It is my intention to bring forward to Cabinet a General Scheme to make the necessary provisions in the Autumn.”