30 May 2006

Uproar in Dáil following release of man guilty of statutory rape


30/05/2006 - 16:35:39

Opposition leaders have reacted angrily to the freeing of a man convicted of the statutory rape of a 12-year-old girl.

Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny has said it is a scandalous failure on the part of the Government in terms of protecting vulnerable children.

He added: "The Minister for Justice was out last week, saying there is no need to rush serious law. It doesn't require an instant response because there is no gaping black hole.”

"Go tell that to the thousands of parents of confirmation aged children, one of whom was filled with drink and raped."

Labour leader Pat Rabbitte also reacted angrily, accusing the Taoiseach of misleading the Dáil and of being out of touch

Deputy Rabbitte told the Taoiseach: “You told this House that there was no question of people walking free.”

“The situation has turned out otherwise and it seems to me that you do not appreciate the gravity of the situation as far as the parents of Ireland are concerned and the gravity of the situation for your Minister of Justice.”

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said: “We have to deal with the issue and we will bring forward legislation in this area very promptly.”

“We will try and have that legislation by the weekend if we can.”

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