What does our version of ‘Sarah’s Law’ mean?




According to a report in the Irish Mirror, there are over forty convicted sex offenders living in this country who are at either a ‘high risk’ or are at a ‘very high risk’ of reoffending. Now, armed with this information, I for one am relieved to hear that, under new laws, Gardai will be allowed to make disclosures with regard to these perverts’ whereabouts, but only in the interest of public safety. As part of this new strategy, the sex offenders will also be electronically tagged.

  It is my understanding that, in the interest of averting risk, this pertinent information will only be given to a select number of ‘necessary’ individuals/organisations, and it will be done so on a confidential basis. This means, I would imagine, that the likes of local schools and other mandatory bodies will be on that ‘necessary’ list of need-to-knows for the specific purpose of keeping in line with their child protection and risk management strategies. Therefore, in the event some perverted sexual deviant who poses a clear and present danger to our own children and our vulnerable relatives/friends moves in next door or within our communities, we will remain ignorant. That is to say, nobody, as in the authorities, will be distributing leaflets through doors, nor will names and addresses be read out at Mass and nobody will be taking out an advertisement in the local paper, etc. The reason is well, (and I imagine right-thinking people will see where I’m going with this), former offenders who have served their time have a right to go about their lives free from persecution, etc. Indeed, there is an understandably strong support for the whole rehabilitative ideal, with many believing that recidivism rates among sex offenders runs quite low in this country.

  I guess it all depends on what guides and what influences your own personal beliefs, and I am not in any shape or form offering my opinion either way. Wouldn’t dream of it, in this instance. I am simply just stating the facts and providing my readers with information I believe to be of interest to them.

  However, here’s the thing…the law will provide disclosure to any member of the public who actively goes searching for it. Got it? The Gardaí will have to give you the information if you go asking for it in person! I’m sure many of you will have heard of ‘Sarah’s Law’. For those who haven’t, it’s the child sex offender disclosure scheme operating in England and Wales, providing for any member of the public to ask the cops if someone with access to their child/a child has a record for child sexual offences. Well, we will simply have an adapted model of this law here in Ireland. This piece of legislation will amend the Sex Offenders Act 2001, and it will include other legal changes that’ll make it necessary for predatory paedophiles/sex criminals to inform Gardaí of their addresses within three days of their release from custody, as opposed to the seven-day period currently in operation. In addition, if said pervert goes AWOL, authorities can release names, addresses, descriptions and photographs into the public domain.

  Look, it’s human nature for every single one of us to worry if/when/should a convicted sex offender move into our neighbourhoods and our communities. Indeed, we absolutely have a right to know who is living next door and who is out on the road when our precious children or vulnerable relatives are within easy access. However, in the interest of being a law-abiding citizen, I feel it necessary for me to mention that we should all be cautious of engaging in any labelling, stigmatising and/or scaremongering campaigns, and I’d advise readers, if they have concerns, to please refrain from giving oxygen to rumour or speculation, but rather that they would immediately speak with their local Garda Station and take their cues/advice from them.


A double for the Dubs… I’m so proud!


Well we sealed the deal, did the double and made history! Yep, I’m talking about Dublin’s two All-Ireland wins…both occurring on the same weekend.

            You probably all know by now that I’m a proud Dub, and while I really don’t wish to gloat, I think I will…just a small bit, because I do think, along with my fellow Dubs living in this beautiful county, that we’ve earned it! And, while we all enjoy and revel in our moment, I’d like to acknowledge all of you thoughtful Roscommon natives who wished me well and who wished the Dublin teams well, and who genuinely delighted in our wins. You’re all legends, and your goodwill showcases the true sporting and generous spirit that I’ve always found to be evident in this county and in its people. Okay, there were a few begrudgers, but their comments fell on deaf ears and I paid them no heed.

  Mind you, I’m raging I couldn’t watch my native county make history in person. I’m hopping, (literally), that I wasn’t in the thick of it, screaming from the Hill in Croker, and instead, due to still being held captive by this surgical boot and crutches – eleven weeks and counting – I had to be content with chewing my nails up to my elbows in front of d’telly! Never mind, I’ll be there next year please God, in all my glory alongside my granddaughter when the lads go for the six-in-a-row and the ladies go for the four-in-a-row!


Is Leo firing surface to airwaves missiles again?


Well it looks like we’ll be going to the polls in May, folks. And sure isn’t it great that Leo believes he’s so privileged he can actually choose the date for the next general election. Now there’s self-belief for you, readers.

  Indeed, last week, firing a surface to airwave missile, during an interview, Mr. Smug declared: “I believe we can win that election. In fact, I am sure of it even though it may not become apparent until the last week or ten days of the election campaign”. That so, love? Fair play to you. However, (and I hate to poke holes in your little ego bucket), before the campaign poster photo-shopping commences, can I suggest you sort out a few major issues like the National Broadband debacle, the cervical smear scandal, the homeless crisis, and the overspend on the Children’s Hospital, to name but a few!