Ministers has agreed to proceed with a new bill — known as Debbie’s Law — that will target repeat sex offenders, by introducing minimum sentences for those who commit second and subsequent sexual offences.
The bill, which will broadly reflect proposals originally introduced by Independent Alliance minister of state Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, who described it as “a significant step towards the greater protection of women and children”.
“My motivation for introducing the bill is a result of meeting a constituent of mine, Debbie Cole, who has long campaigned for the victims of sex offenders,” said Mr Moran. “The law will now clearly set out society’s abhorrence at the repeat offending by serial sex offenders.”
Meanwhile the Government has shot down a motion to provide 3,000 rental homes at Cathal Brugha Barracks and Broadstone Garage in Dublin.
The Green Party motion has called on Government to use State lands to develop modern public housing to address housing crisis, citing 700 publicly-owned sites which are suitable for development.
Cabinet decided not to support the motion, which also sets out details on the provision of cost rental public housing, but will put forward their own countermotion.
A Department of Housing spokesman said the Government is already working to roll out cost rental and make it a “significant” sector in the Irish housing system.
Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy recently visited the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg with a team from his department”” to discuss how the EIB could support a major cost rental project.
A number of innovative pilot projects advancing in Dun Laoghaire and Lusk.
However, the spokesman said it takes time to build up the stock of cost rental units and the next step will be a major cost rental project in Dublin, most likely on a local authority site.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said the cost rental model is used in countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark to deliver large scale public housing development in a way that stays off the Government’s balance sheet.