Shatter Says Church Complaints 'A Diversion'

The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, has said that the Catholic Churches complaints that the child protection Bill would break the seal of Confession were a “diversion” from its own failure to report clerical child abuse to the Garda.

The minister said he did not understand the “excitement” around the question of whether priests who learned of abuse from penitents would be obliged under the new legislation to report it to the Garda.

“I’m . . . of the view that this is a diversion from the real issue,” he told reporters in Luxembourg.

Mr Shatter said the issues that arose in relation to the new law were no different to those raised when legislation in 1998 obliged all people to provide information to the Garda on crimes such as murder and manslaughter.

Similar obligations were imposed on people in a 2011 law to tackle white collar crime.

Although some legal sources dispute it, Mr Shatter has said the new law will not protect priests from prosecution for failing to pass on information received during Confession.


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

05 December 2019
Firearm Seized & Pair Arrested In Westmeath
Two males have been arrested and a firearm seized by Gardaí investigating organised crime in Blanchardstown, Co Westmeath. The operation was carried out on Tuesday 03 December, with a fully loaded semi-automatic Makorav handgun removed from a vehicle.
29 November 2019
Two Arrested In Connection With Major Drug Seizure In Tipperary
A man and a woman, both aged in their 20s, have been arrested in connection with the seizure of approximately €100,000 of suspected cannabis and cocaine, and cash totalling €2,250 in Lagganstown, Tipperary on 28th November, 2019.
14 October 2022
Report Highlights Young People's Experiences Of Violence
91% of young males and 96% of young females have experienced one or more violent acts or behaviours at some point in their lifetime, according to a new report on the experiences and attitudes of 16-year-olds in Northern Ireland.
02 September 2011
Garda 'Can Survive Retirement', Says Shatter
Minister For Justice, Alan Shatter, has said that the Garda are well prepared for a peak in retirements. It is predicted that in the coming months 8% of the force may take early retirement: this comes at a time when recruitment is frozen.
20 September 2011
Garda Plans 'Make Sense', Says Shatter
Ireland's Justice Minister has said that it "makes sense" for the Garda to organise contingency plans in the wake of numerous retirements and station closures.