Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin North Central, Labour)
Question 509: To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will begin the process to expunge the criminal records of all persons convicted and detained as minors within residential institutions as defined by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse in residential institutions; if he will fast-track the legislative framework and advice necessary for the President to carry out same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7803/12]
Alan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
The Deputy may wish to note that Section 35 of the Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 provides that, for the avoidance of doubt, a person who was detained in an industrial school as a child in circumstances where no criminal offence was committed by him or her is not to be regarded as having a criminal record. Section 258 of the Children Act, 2001 also provides that any person convicted of an offence while a child shall be treated for all purposes in law as a person who has not been charged or found guilty of the offence provided he or she has not re-offended within a three-year period after the conviction. In addition, if an individual who was formerly resident in an industrial school wishes to have confirmation that he or she does not have a criminal record, this can be provided by way of a certificate to that effect. To date, 17 individuals have requested such certificates and these have been issued.