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McLellan, Sandra

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Criminal Law (Child Grooming) Bill 2014

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Criminal Law (Child Grooming) Bill 2014\Second Stage
Bills\Criminal Law (Child Grooming) Bill 2014\Second Stage

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Criminal Law (Child Grooming) Bill 2014

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Deputy Sandra McLellan

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Sandra McLellan

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Snippet Contents:

I welcome the opportunity to speak on this Bill and thank Deputy Corcoran Kennedy for bringing it before the House and allowing this discussion to take place. The Government's delay in making progress on the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill is unacceptable. Both Houses of the Oireachtas have for a number of years been debating Private Members' Bills such as this one only to be told by Ministers time and again that such Bills are unnecessary because a more comprehensive Bill is on its way. We are coming to the end of this Dáil term and there is still no sign of a comprehensive Bill to reform this area of law. If the Government knew there would be a delay like this, it should have accepted Private Members' Bills and enacted them so that, at the very least, some reform would have been legislated for and some adequate protection would have been afforded to citizens.
I welcome Deputy Corcoran Kennedy's Bill. It is an important one and it is comprehensive and logical. It is in keeping with international best practice and Sinn Féin will support its passage to Committee Stage. It is a shame that the general scheme of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill that was published by the Minister for Justice and Equality late last year has not seen progress since. There is a pressing need to address all the law in this area.
Sexual violence is probably the most pervasive crime in Irish society, yet it remains under-reported, under-investigated and under-prosecuted. Conviction rates are low and criminal sentences rarely reflect the devastating impact of the crime on its victims.