Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee TD - Budget 2021 Dáil speech

 

 

 

October 14, 2020

 

Budget 2021 seeks to shield our economy and society through one of the worst crises in living memory.

 

The Government’s priorities in guiding the State through the pandemic are protecting the lives of our people and ensuring our economy can weather this storm.

 

The protection of our people is the core of the Department of Justice’s work and the record €3 billion allocation for Justice in this Budget, an increase of €200 million, will help the Department, its agencies and others in the sector in that task.

 

The Justice sector has been on the frontline throughout 2020, supporting our Health colleagues in the battle against Covid-19. 

 

I am grateful to the women and men in frontline agencies such as An Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service and the Courts Service, the Office of the State Pathologist, Forensic Science Ireland and many others as well as to the staff of my own Department. 

 

As has been said many times, the difficulties caused by Covid have accelerated the need for us to change and reform our lives.

 

I am pleased that my first Budget as Minister for Justice allows us to both protect our people, including the most vulnerable, and modernise the Justice Sector.

 

It also allows me to begin work on my priorities as Minister for Justice.

 

To strengthen and reform An Garda Síochána to ensure our communities are safe.

 

To tackle sexual, domestic and gender based violence, support victims and reform how vulnerable witnesses are treated as sexual offences are investigated and prosecuted. 

 

And to modernise the Courts, immigration services, policing and other justice services to make them more efficient and easier to access.

 

We must continue to properly fund our frontline workers as they serve the public throughout Covid-19.

 

We must keep them safe as they work to keep us safe.

 

To this end, I have secured: