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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C

# Department of Justice

Last week
26th November 2023 - 2nd December 2023
‘A long way from normal’: Families say visits to prison still restricted post-pandemic
A report by
Alice Chambers
Some children only get to see their parent in-person once a month and experts are concerned that video calls are replacing visits.
Investigation by Noteworthy finds the number of children visiting prison is 75% of what it was in 2019
Less than a third of prisoners received in-person visits on weeks where data was provided in 2023
Mother-of-two: “I want my kids to know who their father is”
Last month
November 2023
Tougher laws to manage and monitor sex offenders comes into effect today
The Department of Justice is also drafting plans for electronic monitoring of sex offenders.
Human trafficking victims to be protected from deportation under new plans
Dedicated accommodation for victims of trafficking will also be established.
Stalking is now a standalone offence and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison
A range of new criminal offences, as well as tougher sentences for existing offences, come into effect from today.
This year
Irish citizenship application made available online for first time
The online service will allow applicants to complete their application form, upload support documentation and pay their fees.
'Nowhere to go': How the housing crisis is lethal for domestic violence victims
A report by
Jane Moore
There was an increase in the number of applications last year, along with an increase in the number of court orders being breached.
Judge orders Department of Justice official to attend court in child abuse image case
Judge Alan Mitchell directed that the accused come to court on 5 October.
Senior gardaí to meet with Oireachtas officials today to discuss security review
Thirteen arrests were made yesterday during a protest of 200 people outside Leinster House.
Statutory agency dedicated to tackling domestic violence to begin operating in January
Justice Minister Helen McEntee will introduce legislation to establish the agency to the Dáil by the end of the month.
Debunked: Fake government letter used to spread rumour of Ukrainians being extradited to fight
Other forgeries pushing the same narrative have been spread by eastern European pro-Kremlin groups.
TDs call for expanded legal aid for domestic violence after judge warns 'working poor' lose out
TDs including Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan were speaking after a District Court judge called for mandatory free legal aid in domestic violence cases.
McEntee: Extra gardaí in Dublin will not involve 'people with tasers on the side of the street'
An Garda Síochána yesterday announced that specialist units will be deployed in the centre of the capital on an overtime basis.
Weekly reviews of areas 'prone to anti-social behaviour' to take place under new crime action plan
The Garda Air Support Unit and the Garda Mounted Unit will be deployed to Dublin City Centre to enhance Garda visibility.
Criminal legal aid can be withdrawn or cut from applicants under new oversight structures
The move aims to reduce the amount paid by the state in cases where people can contribute to their own legal costs.
Government extends suspension of visa-free travel for people with refugee status
Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the decision was ‘carefully considered’ and is ‘necessary to protect the integrity of Ireland’s immigration system’.
Explainer: Barristers are set to protest at courthouses over pay, what are they looking for?
The Bar of Ireland has recommended that criminal barristers ‘withdraw services’ for one day over pay issues.
Rise in sex trafficking victims seeking help in Ireland as State is failing on key reforms
Demand for the sex trade is on the rise in Ireland, a charity that works with victims has found.
Overseas nurses who quit jobs to work in Irish hospitals losing offers over permit delays
“I did not expect this treatment from a developed country,” one nurse said, as others spoke of losing hope and becoming depressed due to their experience.
Irish officials to review 'safe countries of origin' designation on 8 nations within next year
The designation applies to countries deemed to be safe for the purposes of asylum applications.
Harris says family concerns will be 'considered' in domestic violence report recommendations
The study was carried out independently of the Department of Justice.
Significant recommendation to make children's voices a 'priority' in family justice system
The recommendation suggests that by including the voice of the child it ensures they are “heard and considered”.
Over 400 approvals issued to Afghan refugees through Government's Admission Programme
The programme was set up in the immediate aftermath of the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan in August 2021.
Head of prison officer group says overcrowding is putting staff and prisoners 'at risk'
‘We once again have single cells doubled up, mattresses on floors, prisoner population going through the roof,’ POA leader Tony Power said.
Govt aims to reform defamation laws to protect public-interest journalism and reduce costs
Ireland’s libel and slander laws have been criticised for creating a chilling effect on public-interest journalism.
Legislation that would allow gardaí to wear body cameras set to be tabled today
The Bill will allow for recording from body worn cameras, helicopters, aircraft, Garda dogs, drones, mobile devices and tablets.
Last year
Court poor box donations raise close to €17m for charities over 10 years
A 2004 review by the Law Reform Commission described the system as unfair for offenders who cannot afford to pay for donations.
Justice portfolio will be my priority in the coming months, says Harris
Harris will serve as Minister for Justice until Helen McEntee returns from maternity leave, as well as retaining his Higher Education brief.
'We had to eat leftover meat and fish': Modern slavery in the Irish fishing industry
A report by
Maria Delaney and Geela Garcia
Migrant fishers who left vessels due to exploitative treatment ‘ignored’ in recent cross-departmental review.
Inspection reports reveal potential trafficking and deficiencies relating to hours of work and rest
Researcher: "The problems in Ireland can be traced to very specific policies and laws here"
The Explainer x Noteworthy: Are migrant fishers exploited in Ireland?
Navy boardings find 10 fishing vessels almost fully crewed by migrant fishers
Irish justice system 'failing' migrant fishing workers who report exploitation
A report by
Maria Delaney and Geela Garcia
Our investigation finds 35 referrals of human trafficking in sector – but no prosecutions.
US report states Ireland has systemic deficiencies in victim identification, referral and assistance
Alleged trafficking victim: "It hurt. I felt the punch land. I told him if he did that again I’d report him."
Consultation launched on scheme to disregard historic convictions of gay and bisexual men
The criminalisation of consensual sexual acts between men remained in place until 1993.
No Afghan refugees accepted through Admissions Programme due to 'insufficient information'
A report by
Tadgh McNally
The Department of Justice has asked for DNA testing in some instances.
At least three people killed in mosque blast in Afghanistan capital
Taliban celebrates 'day of conquest' to mark turbulent first year in power
All recommendations from report on cancelled 999 calls will be implemented, says McEntee
The report found that there were issues where call takers did not properly assess the vulnerability of some callers.
Ireland's 'onerous' Afghan refugee programme has zero decisions in year since Taliban takeover
The scheme was designed to help Afghans travel to Ireland to stay with family members who are already living in the State.
The scheme was designed to help Afghans travel to Ireland to stay with family members who are already living in the State.
Humanitarian workers say those waiting to hear about applications feel left behind.
The Department of Justice said decisions will be issued “in the coming months”.
Stronger laws on determining consent in rape cases agreed by Cabinet
McEntee is currently seeking approval to publish a general scheme of the bill and then begin drafting the proposed legislation.
McEntee says planned new hate crime laws will carry more severe penalties
The new Incitement to Hatred and Hate Crime Bill is planned for the autumn
Ukraine refugees to be allowed register at regional immigration hubs under new law
The new legislation will remove the current requirement to travel to Dublin.
Warning of scammers impersonating women on Instagram and posting links to pornography
“But when I saw that it followed my dad, my heart sank. And he was like ‘who did this?’ And obviously I didn’t know, I still don’t know.”
Three women tell their stories of how this happened to them
The harmful phenomenon is so under-researched that it doesn't have an official name, but it's been happening on Instagram for several years
"At the start I thought it was a joke, but then it started to follow my family members," one woman told Jamie McCarron
McEntee says diversity will be a focus of new process for appointing judges
The new Bill was approved by Cabinet earlier this week and will be published shortly.
High Court president's comments on judge shortage were 'most unfortunate', senior official said
There was an “implicit criticism” of the government and Áras an Uachtaráin in the comments, senior officials noted.
McEntee confirms opening date for long-term undocumented scheme
The new scheme will see undocumented migrants get a chance to apply for citizenship.