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Written Answers. - Coroner Service.

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 547 No. 4

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 194. Mr. Timmins Information on Billy Timmins Zoom on Billy Timmins  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue  his plans to bring in measures to ensure that family members and relatives of a suicide victim will have privacy at the coroner's inquest; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3884/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): Information on John O'Donoghue Zoom on John O'Donoghue I can inform the Deputy that in accordance with the provisions of the Coroners Act, 1962, a coroner is a statutory officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions, in relation to which he or she is independent.

While I appreciate the issues which arise for the families and relatives of a suicide victim, I am informed by coroners that an inquest is, by definition, a public inquiry into a death and must therefore be held in public. I am informed, however, that coroners seek to handle such cases as sensitively as possible within the constraints of the law in this area.


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