The Minister for Justice John O’Donoghue has announced draft legislation designed to protect the public against sex offenders. The package includes a new registration or tracking system for all convicted sex offenders; a system of supervision for all sex offenders after release from prison; new requirements for sex offenders when seeking employment where access to children is involved and separate legal representation in rape and other serious sexual assault cases in particular circumstances. Penalties for breaches of the requirements will range from prison terms of six months to five years or fines of £1,500 to £10,000.

Announcing the measures to be contained in the Sex Offenders' Bill, the Minister said that they are geared towards significantly increasing the protection of the public from the perpetrators of sexual crimes against children and other vulnerable persons. Mr O'Donoghue said that he expects the legislation to be in force by the end of the year.