Campaigners to meet with Justice Committee

Campaigners calling for tougher sentencing in homicide cases are hoping to meet with the Justice Committee over the coming weeks.

Campaigners calling for tougher sentencing in homicide cases are hoping to meet with the Justice Committee over the coming weeks.

The group hopes to discuss proposed changes to the laws which would see killers spending more time behind bars.

Earlier this summer, a delegation from, AdVIC (Advocates who campaign for greater rights for Victims of Homicide) met with over 20 TD’s or their representatives and as a result are currently putting together a proposal to go before the Justice Committee.

Recently-appointed Minister Ann Phelan is fully supportive of a meeting between the advocacy group and the committee.

She has also met with local campaigner, Ronan Quinn whose mother was murdered in 2002 and who is also calling for tougher sentencing in homicides.

“I advised him and the AdVIC group to try and get time in front of the Justice Committee. I am happy to continue working with the AdVIC group in a supportive role in their quest to have their proposals heard at a Government level,” she said.

“I am aware of and have met with the advocacy group, AdVIC and can sympathise with how aggrieved these people are. I am delighted that they will get the opportunity to attend a Justice committee meeting so their proposals may be deliberated on by the Government,” she added.

Members of AdVIC have met with a committee member and are hopeful that an invitation will be formally issued to them over the coming weeks.

The group is calling for changes in sentencing for a range of minimum sentences of 15 to 30 years and whole-life terms for murderers as well as highlighting the need for reform in relation to the bail laws and the issue of parole.

In recent months Ronan, who has received support from the advocacy group has launched a campaign, together with a petition, calling for changes in relation to those charged and convicted of murder. A spokesperson for AdVIC said that Ronan’s campaign highlights the need for change.

Ronan’s petition – “Tougher Sentencing for Homicide cases in Ireland” – was published on change.org two months ago, and has achieved 831 signatures.

Ronan says he is “on target” to reach his 1,500-signature target.

The petition calls for minimum sentencing of 15 years before being considered for parole and the abolition of the 25% remission for those convicted of murder or manslaughter.

For more see www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/tougher-sentencing-for-homicide-cases-in-ireland