Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (617)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

617. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice when the promised sexual offences unit in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will be established and fully operational; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8439/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As Minister for Justice, I want to ensure that we can effectively tackle the scourge of sexual violence, which is a blight on our society.

Supporting A Victim’s Journey: A Plan to Help Victims and Vulnerable Witnesses in Sexual Violence Cases details how my Department will drive reforms which will reduce sexual violence and ensure our system works for those who need it. This follows the publication of a review by Tom O'Malley that made a series of recommendations to protect vulnerable witnesses.

As part of Supporting the Victim's Journey, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has committed to establishing a new Sexual Offences Unit within Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions during 2021.

As the Deputy will appreciate that the DPP is independent and does not report to Government or to me as Minister. It would not be proper therefore for me to answer in the Dáil on her behalf on matters that relate to her statutory duties or the running of her office.

However, I understand that the Director will be very happy to respond to a request from the Deputy to provide the information sought.