I propose to take Questions Nos. 277 and 278 together.
I have requested a report from the Garda authorities on the specific information sought by the Deputy. I have also sought their views on measures to improve the recording of domestic homicides on the PULSE system and I will contact the Deputy again when the response is to hand.
The Deputy will be aware that the Domestic Violence Act 2018 is a landmark piece of legislation which significantly enhanced the legal protections available to victims of this appalling form of violence. I was pleased to commence all of the provisions of the Act on 1 January last, including the innovative provision which created a new offence of coercive control which recognises the psychological abuse aspect of domestic violence.
On 14 May I announced that my Department was commissioning an independent specialist in-depth research study focussing on two distinct pillars:
1. the provision of supports to families who are victims of familicide;
2. international best practice in the conduct of Domestic Homicide Reviews.
I am very pleased that Ms. Norah Gibbons agreed to lead the study. Ms. Gibbons will be joined by a small team of experts and with administrative support provided by my Department. The study, on which initial work has started, will involve consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including State agencies, family members of victims and non-governmental organisations.
A public advertisement was placed in the national newspapers last week calling for submissions to the study and I would call on all interested parties, who can assist the work of this study, to make a submission to the study team at email@example.com Interested parties can also request a meeting with the team by way of the same e-mail address.