Victim family support group secure meeting with JusticeMinister

7/11/2014: John Whelan, Chairman of AdVIC and who's sister Sharon as well as his two nieces Zara (7) and Nadia (2) were murdered on Christmas Day 2008 in Roscon Co Kilkenny. Photo: Pat Moore.
A local campaigner who is calling on the government to reform sentencing in relation to the law governing homicide has secured a meeting with the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald.

A local campaigner who is calling on the government to reform sentencing in relation to the law governing homicide has secured a meeting with the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald.

John Whelan’s sister, Sharon and her two daughters Zarah and Nadia were murdered at their home in Windgap on Christmas morning 2008.

Mr Whelan is currently the chairman of AdVic, a charity that provides support to the families of homicide victims.

“We are delighted that we have secured a meeting with the Minster on February 19.

“This is a very important opportunity to highlight the imbalance in the criminal justice system from the victims’ families point of view. We feel that to be able to do this in person is very important and we hope will have the desired impact,” he said

“We are calling for changes to sentencing, parole and the bail policies which do not serve either families or society as a whole. We will also be calling for the Irish Government to be the first to adopt the new EU directive on victims rights which will be European law as of November of this year”

AdVic are campaigning for a mandatory minimum tariff of 15 years in the case of murder, with an upwards increment including the option of a whole life tariff without parole.

There is a three person delegation attending the meeting including Mr Whelan, the chairman of the group; Joan Deane, the vice-chairperson and the group’s legal advisor, John O’Keeffe.

Advic bring together families bereaved by homicide including those affected by murder, manslaughter and fatal assault, and provide information and services for those people