Sex offenders shouldn’t be able to change their names Galway TD says

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Sex offenders should not be able to evade scrutiny by changing their name Galway TD Denis Naughten has said.

Deputy Naughten said that he welcomed the Minister for Justice saying that she was looking at whether legislation is needed to prevent sex offenders from changing their name by deed poll.

“Changing their names makes it more difficult for members of the public to do an online check into a person’s history,” stated Denis Naughten.

The Independent TD had previously spoken in the Dáil about people convicted of sex crimes using the right to be forgotten to get information about them removed by search engines.

“Over the last decade as I have campaigned to have a proper and effective sexual offenders register, I have been confronted by arguments regarding the rights of offenders.”

“I believe that it is now time to change this balance in favour of victims and ensure that their stories are not brushed under the electronic carpet by giving sex offenders the right to be forgotten.”

He said that it is a “key weakness” of the Sex Offenders (Amendment) Bill, introduced last November, that it does not close off these loopholes.

In response to his oral question, Minister McEntee said she has noted the points he has made in relation to name changes, and is examining whether legislative changes are required.