Legislation allowing for the naming of the child victims of homicide has been passed by the Seanad and will now go to President Michael D Higgins.

The President has seven days to sign the legislation after which the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has seven days to sign a Commencement Order.

Minister McEntee told the Seanad that many members of the Oireachtas had been contacted "over recent months by parents who wanted to publicly remember their children but were prevented from doing so".

She added: "Every parent should be able to speak about their child publicly; to secure their child's legacy."

The Minister said that the Government made a commitment to those parents to move quickly to solve this problem.

She said she would not delay signing a commencement order after the legislation is signed by the President.

She added: "At the latest, the law will change on 3 May and the parents affected will be able to share their precious memories of their children once again."

Senator Michael McDowell had drafted the legislation to rectify an unintended effect of the law, which led to a collaborative process between the Senator, Minister McEntee and Fianna Fáil Deputy Jim O'Callaghan.

When introducing the legislation Senator McDowell said:"It is a huge injustice to the parents of a child who is killed in a homicide that media cannot carry coverage of the fact… it is a major reduction in the rights of apparent free speech and the rights of parents to tell their story in public and to express their tragic loss."

Mr O'Callaghan said the ban had caused huge suffering and stress for their families. He said he was delighted that legislation resolving the problem had been passed by the Oireachtas.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Minister McEntee said she hopes that the Children's Act will come into law by 3 May and said she recognises that this has been a "difficult time" for families of deceased children who have been unable to speak publicly about their loved ones.