Seanad passes child solicitation legislation

Wednesday 07 March 2007 16.42
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Dáil Éireann - Passed Bill last night
Dáil Éireann - Passed Bill last night
Paul Gilligan - More comprehensive law needed
Paul Gilligan - More comprehensive law needed

The Seanad has passed all stages of a Bill which closes a loophole relating to the offence of soliciting children for sex.

The Bill also introduces a new offence of 'grooming' children for sexual exploitation.

The emergency legislation was passed by the Dáil last night and it now goes for early signature into law by President Mary McAleese.

The Chief Executive of the ISPCC, Paul Gilligan, says more comprehensive legislation is needed to deal with the problem of 'grooming'.

But while the Opposition accepted the legislation, there were warnings about the dangers of rushing such legislation through, and the possibility of further loopholes being discovered.

A more comprehensive piece of legislation dealing with sexual exploitation is promised for later in the year, while a referendum on the rights and protection for children is also to be held, most likely in the autumn.