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Passage of Courts, Civil Law, Criminal Law & Superannuation Bill Welcomed.

Passage of Courts, Civil Law, Criminal Law and Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2024 Welcomed.

  • Mandatory retirement age for uniformed public servants to increase from 60 to 62 years for those who wish to avail of it.
  • Carrier liability fines to increase where airlines allow passengers to board without proper documentation.
  • Maximum penalties for a number of serious knife-related offences to increase.

The passage of the Courts, Civil Law, Criminal Law and Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2024 has been welcomed today.

This Bill will allow for an increase in the mandatory retirement for uniformed public servants, including members of An Garda Síochána, Prison Officers and the Defence Forces, from 60 to 62 years of age, for those who wish to avail of it

The Bill will also increase the maximum fines payable by airline and ferry companies, where they allow someone to travel into the Irish State without proper documentation.

The Bill restores the power of the Minister for Justice to revoke certificates of naturalisation. The Damache Judgement in the Supreme Court found the process lacked necessary safeguards.
The circumstances in which certificates can be revoked remains unchanged and include where a person poses a security risk to the State or where citizenship was obtained through fraudulent means.

The Bill will also increase the maximum penalties, upon conviction on indictment, for the following four knife-related offences;

  1. Possession in a public place of an article intended to cause injury to, incapacitate or intimidate the person.
  2. Trespass with a knife, weapon of offence or other article which has a blade or sharp point.
  3. Production of an article capable of inflicting serious injury.
  4. Manufacture, sale, hire etc. of offensive weapons, (of such description as may be specified by Ministerial order).

The Bill also includes a number of amendments to the Judicial Council Act 2019, to provide for changes to the personal injuries guidelines to address issues identified by the Supreme Court in the recent Delaney case.

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Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking Bill Passed.

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Human Trafficking) Bill 2023 has passed through both Houses of the Oireachtas today.

The Bill is seen as a major legislative step forward in ensuring that the justice system protects and supports all victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

The Bill contains a number of important measures, including:

  1. Ensuring anonymity for victims in all trials for sexual offences.
  2. Extend the victim’s right to separate legal representation if they are being questioned about their previous sexual history.
  3. Ensure character evidence at a sentencing hearing for a person convicted of a sexual offence must be made on under oath or by way of affidavit.
  4. Ensure people subject to military law who commit specified sexual offences will be dealt with by An Garda Síochána and the civilian courts rather than by courts-martial.
  5. Put the new National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for human trafficking victims on a statutory footing.
  6. Clear the final obstacles to ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.

The Bill, once enacted, will ensure anonymity for victims in all trials for sexual offences and will offer them greater protection, as they engage with the justice system, by enshrining their right to separate legal representation if there is an application to question them over their previous sexual experience.

The victim’s right to separate legal representation if there is an application to question them about their previous sexual experience will be extended to include trials for sexual assault, which had not previously been covered under the legislation. The barrister who is assigned to represent the victim at the application will be allowed to continue to represent the victim at the questioning, if the application is granted.

The Bill also provides for the ‘vouching of character evidence in sexual offences cases. This will ensure that where a person has been convicted of a sexual offence, character references presented at sentencing will have to be made via oath or affidavit.

In addition, the new Bill also puts a revised National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in place for identification and support of victims of trafficking. This new approach will make it easier for victims of trafficking to come forward, be identified and access advice, accommodation and support.

Some victims of trafficking, because of interactions they may have had with law enforcement officials in other jurisdictions, have a perception that police cannot be trusted. This new approach acknowledges other state bodies, outside of An Garda Síochána, as well as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), have a role in identifying victims of human trafficking and referring them to the National Referral Mechanism.

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Ms Emily Logan Nominated As Police Ombudsman.

Ms Emily Logan.

Ms Emily Logan (pictured here left), has been recommending for appointment as the new Police Ombudsman under the Policing, Security and Community Safety Act 2024.

Ms Logan was nominated for the role following an open, competition undertaken by the Public Appointments Service. The Government approved the nomination last week and Ms Logan’s official appointment, by the President of Ireland, is expected to be confirmed, with effect from August 1st, 2024, when her current term of appointment ends.

Career to date:
Ms Logan was appointed to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission in February 2021 having served as Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (2014 to 2019). Prior to this, she served as Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children (2003 to 2014).

In addition to ten years of investigations as Ombudsman; in 2013 she conducted an inquiry under Section 42 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, into the taking into care of two children from two Roma families by An Garda Síochána.
Ms Logan has over twenty years management experience both in Ireland and in the UK, including Director of Nursing at Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Director of Nursing at Tallaght University Hospital.
She holds an LLM in Human Rights Law (Queens University Belfast), an MBA (University College Dublin) and an MSc in Psychology (City University London).
She is Adjunct Professor (Human Rights Practice) at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUIG, and Adjunct Professor at the School of Law in University College Cork.
Ms Logan also serves on the Board of the Independent Police Complaints Authorities Network (IPCAN).

It will be necessary to ensure that there is a seamless transition process between the provisions contained in the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Policing, Security and Community Safety Act 2024.

Preparations are at an advanced stage for the commencement of the Policing, Security and Community Safety Act 2024, later this year. Further announcements regarding appointments to key roles are expected to be made in the coming weeks and months.

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Pardoned Harry Gleeson Re-Interred In Holycross, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

“Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust…”
Extract from poem ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’, by Thomas Gray.

The earthly remains of an innocent man, executed by hanging in Mountjoy jail; same body having been located within the prison grounds, were handed over to his family last week.
Yesterday, Sunday July 7th, 2024 same remains were re-interred, with his parents in the family plot, following Requiem Mass in Holycross Abbey, Thurles, attended by hundreds of people, some who travelled from other countries, to be in attendance.

Farm worker Mr Harry Gleeson, then aged 38 years, was executed on April 23rd 1941, despite his denial of the killing of a neighbour known as Ms Moll McCarthy of New-Inn, Co Tipperary.

In November, 1940, the executed Mr Gleeson had found the body of this single mother of seven children in a field owned by his uncle Mr John Caesar, while the former was out tending sheep.
The victim had been shot twice in the head and rather than being thanked for alerting local authorities to his gruesome discovery of Ms McCarthy’s body, Mr Gleeson soon found himself charged with her murder.
Following his trial and eventual conviction, the manner of execution was proscribed by the then sentencing Judge, Mr Justice Martin Maguire, that he be ‘hanged by the neck until he be dead.’
Alas, Mr Gleeson’s pardon came 74 years after his execution; granted by the current President of Ireland, Mr Michael D. Higgins, on the initial recommendation of former Minister for Justice, Mr Alan Shatter.

Having studied the original trial transcripts and noting that back in 1941 the judge, Mr Martin Maguire, had asked for a gun register to be shown during the trial. Same register although available, had never been produced by the prosecution.

Yet another issue was the temperature of Ms McCarthy’s body, when it had been first located. The post-mortem report from 1940 indicated that Moll had been murdered at a time when Mr Gleeson actually had an alibi.

Ten years ago in 2014, a retired nurse Ms Ann Martin Walsh, who had cared for Ms Moll McCarthy’s eldest daughter, Ms Mary McCarthy, as the latter was nearing her death, confirmed that her patient had clearly declared that ‘I saw my own mother shot on the kitchen floor and an innocent man died’.

Mr Harry Gleeson denied ever being one of Ms Moll McCarthy’s many known lovers or of fathering one of her seven children, which, it was stated could have jeopardised an inheritance of land, due from an uncle John Caesar.

Today, the murdered body of Ms Moll McCarthy lies in an unmarked grave in a now disused cemetery in New-Inn, Cahir, Co. Tipperary.

In 2015, following a full review of the trial and the evidence provided, members of the Gleeson family attended a special ceremony at the Department of Justice, where a certificate of official pardon was finally presented.

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Re-interment Of Harry Gleeson, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

It was with a sense of shame and deep sadness that we learned of the wrongful conviction and the subsequent execution by hanging, on Wednesday 23rd April 1941, of Mr Henry (Harry) Gleeson, Galbertstown, Thurles, Co. Tipperary and formerly of Marlhill, New Inn, Co.Tipperary.

The immediate family and extended relatives of the late Mr Gleeson, now rejoice in announcing the final homecoming of his remains to his native townsland of Galbertstown, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

Having languished for eighty-three years in an unmarked grave in Mountjoy Prison, most wrongly convicted, and having been executed for a murder in which he had neither hand act or part; Mr Gleeson’s remains may soon finally rest in peace, having been declared a totally innocent man.
Betrayed by the very system of law, which should have protected him, it has since fallen to others to restore his good name and bring him back home to finally rest.

Requiescat in Pace.

Re-interment Arrangements.

The earthly remains of Mr Gleeson will be received into the former Cistercian Monastery Abbey at Holycross, Thurles at 1:30pm, to repose for Requiem Mass at 2:00pm on Sunday afternoon next, July 7th, followed by re-interment immediately afterwards in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Holycross, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

For those persons who are unable to attend the re-interment service for Mr Gleeson, same can be viewed streamed live online, HERE.

The extended Gleeson family wish to express their appreciation for your understanding at this difficult time, and have made arrangements for those persons wishing to send messages of condolence, to use the link shown HERE.

May his innocent soul now enjoy the happiness of Heaven knowing that truth and justice has finally prevailed.

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