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Written Answers. - Laffoy Commission.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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[226]

 224. Mr. Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten  asked the Minister for Education and Science Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  the protections which have been put in place to protect the rights of a deceased person who has had allegations made against them to the Laffoy commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23475/02]

 225. Mr. Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten  asked the Minister for Education and Science Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  if there are specific protections put in place through the Laffoy commission when allegations are made for the first time subsequent to death, in view of the fact that a person is unable to defend themselves; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23476/02]

Minister for Education and Science (Mr. N. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey I propose to take Questions Nos. 224 and 225 together.

While there is no specific provision in the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse Act, 2000, regarding a deceased person in relation to allegations of abuse, section 14(7) of the Act states that:

If a person gives false evidence before the committee or to a person examining him or her pursuant to subsection (5) in such circumstances that, if the person had given evidence before a court, the person would be guilty of perjury, the person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction on indictment thereof to the penalties applying to perjury.

Therefore, if a person giving evidence to the commission knowingly makes a false statement about a person living or dead, they commit perjury and may be subject to the sanction that applies to that crime.

In addition to this the commission can hear evidence which contradicts accusations made against a deceased person and make a finding as to which version represents the truth.


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