Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ceisteanna (25)

Jim O'Callaghan


25. Deputy Jim O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position with regard to the release of information pertinent to cases of familicide by organisations with relevant knowledge; if a review will be conducted of barriers to provide information for families of victims of familicide; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11960/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, I have instructed my officials to draft terms of reference for a study about how best to support families in the most caring and effective way in the aftermath of murder-suicides and this work is at an advanced stage.

In such tragic circumstances, I fully acknowledge that one of the supports that can be provided to remaining family members is the provision of timely information on the facts and development of a case, insofar as that is desired by the family.  As the Deputy is aware, this is one of the primary roles of the Garda Family Liaison Officers, who are appointed to families in these cases but there are necessary limitations that apply to the disclosure of legally privileged information.  While I do not wish to preempt the finalisation of terms of reference, I expect that the proposed study will include an examination of the role of the liaison officers, how that has evolved since the enactment of the Victims of Crime Act 2017 and how to deal with disseminating information while adhering to any limitations which may apply. 

I intend to consult relevant parties, including my Government colleagues and relevant experts, before finalising the terms of reference.  I will examine any recommendations made, including any legislative change that might be proposed.