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Question

67. Deputy Josepha Madigan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if the Sex Offenders Act 2001 empowers the authorities to place restrictions on sex offenders, who have committed sex assaults against children, living in proximity to or overlooking playgrounds; if there are guidelines on these issues for the attention of the relevant authorities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17662/16]

Answer

Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Sex Offenders Act 2001 provides that all sex offenders, subject to the provisions of Part 2 of that Act, must notify An Garda Síochána of their name and address, and any subsequent change to those details, for a specified period of time following the relevant conviction. Where a sex offender is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2 years or more, he or she will be subject to notification requirements for a period of indefinite duration.
Part 3 of the Act allows the Garda Síochána to apply to the Court for a Sex Offender Order where a sex offender has acted on one or more occasion in such a way as to give reasonable grounds for believing that an order is necessary to protect the public from serious harm from him or her. A Sex Offender Order can prohibit the sex offender from doing a thing or things specified in that order where the Court considers it to be necessary to do so to protect the public from serious harm. It would be open to the Court to impose restrictions on where a sex offender, subject to a Sex Offender Order, may frequent or reside.
Part 5 of the Act makes provision for a Court, when sentencing a convicted sex offender to a term of imprisonment, to include in the sentence a period of post-release supervision. The conditions which a Court may attach to a post-release supervision order may prohibit the offender from doing one or more things specified in the order where the Court considers it necessary to protect the public from serious harm. The Probation Service supervises offenders who are subject to court ordered community supervision. Conditions attached to the supervision order may include restrictions on living in certain areas.