Kathleen Chada, who had not been able to speak publicly since last year about her two sons Eoghan and Ruairí who were murdered by their father, has welcomed the change to Section 252 of the Children’s Act.
Ms Chada toldthat “for want of a better word” she was happy about the change, but it was a bittersweet day.
It had been frustrating that she had not been able to speak about her sons, but she was happy that her boys were part of the change and the reason why this change had come about.
“I was silenced,” she said as she also could not be identified as that would have led to Eoghan and Ruairí being identified.
Ms Chada said she had been lucky to be able to speak out over the last few years, that she had been able to show the world her sons’ faces and to talk openly about her journey, her grief and loss and her experience of the justice system.
To have that “suddenly taken away based on something completely unrelated to me” had been upsetting.
She had been effectively “gagged.” It had been frustrating that the change had to happen, she said, as she felt that Section 252 provided good protection for children but it had not made a distinction between children who were alive and those who were dead.
“In my view it was a mistake.” It had meant a lot to her to be able to speak about her sons and it had been frustrating when she was legally prevented from doing so, she said she was happy that the law had changed.
Ms Chada said that given how slowly the wheels of justice could turn, it was lucky that it had taken just six months for the change in legislation. She had been assured by her local TD Jennifer Murnane O’Connor and Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan that the changes would happen.
“I trusted them and I was right to do that.”