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Sinn Féin urge early progress on all-Ireland sex offenders register

14 June, 2005

Commenting after a report today by the Sex Offender Strategic Management Committee claimed that up to 2000 sex offenders are loose in the six counties, Sinn Féin Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has called for early progress on the establishment of a single all-Ireland body to be responsible for holding standardised children protection information.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Previously when Bairbre de Brún and Martin McGuinness were Ministers they initiated a process that would allow for the setting up of an all-Ireland register to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults.

"Before the last elections Sinn Féin also published its Children's Charter. It included the demand for the immediate establishment of a single all-Ireland body that would be responsible for holding standardised child protection information and supported by the Department of Heath in the north, the Department of Health and Children in the South and the two Departments of Education. This would work within a wider EU and global context.

"A number of recent high profile cases, including that involving convicted paedophile Vincent McKenna, where paedophiles have been convicted in one jurisdiction yet are not automatically included in any register within the other jurisdiction raise serious concerns. The activities of sexual abusers know no boundaries so it is vital that a key tool in protecting children and young people should not be confined by borders. This loophole presents clear dangers and needs to be closed." ENDS

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