281. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if posthumous pardons for those who were convicted of offences that related to protests for the right of women to vote will be advanced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7300/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I thank the Deputy for raising this matter. I believe it fitting, a century on from when women first became eligible to vote, that we reflect on the significant role played by the pioneering women of the suffragette movement in shaping the world in which we live today.
The Deputy will be aware that the power of pardon rests solely with the President under the Constitution (Article 13.6), however the President may only grant a pardon on the advice of the Government (Article 13.9).
The issue that the Deputy raises is one that I believe merits further consideration. However, any process would have to take account of a range of factors, including the details of each individual case and the practical difficulties that might arise in assessing any such cases, given the passage of time and the lack of living witnesses.