Parole system not fit for purpose, says FF TD

Fianna Fáil TD Jim O'Callaghan. Picture Gareth Chaney / Collins

Fianna Fáil's Jim O'Callaghan says the current parole system is not fit for purpose.

Deputy O'Callaghan wants tougher restrictions on released prisoners.

The issue has been raised once again after Ray Quinn pleaded for his wife's killer to be banned from Kildare when he's released from prison.

Joyce Quinn, 44, was murdered by local man Kenneth O’Reilly in January 1996.

O'Callaghan believes current laws do not protect the rights of victim's families:

"The situation at present is people who apply for parole, apply to the Parole Board which isn't set up on a statutory basis.

"There is no law that, for instance, Ray Quinn could look at or any other victim's families could look at that would set out what are the rights of the families, the victims and the prisoners when it comes to a parole application," he said.

Earlier this week Fianna Fáil's spokeswomen on equality, and Kildare South TD, Fiona O’Loughlin echoed this sentiment.

“The legislation which was brought forward by my party colleague, Deputy Jim O’Callaghan, would among other things, provide for restrictions to be imposed on released prisoners, such as restricting them from certain areas or from being near certain people," she outlined.

“The Bill also seeks to establish an independent parole board on a statutory basis. This independent statutory board would have responsibility for the decision to grant parole, thereby removing this responsibility from the Minister for Justice and Equality.

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