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New proposed stalking law would carry 10-year jail term

The Government has proposed new laws that would create an offence of stalking, carrying a maximum...
Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

15.25 22 Sep 2021


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New proposed stalking law woul...

New proposed stalking law would carry 10-year jail term

Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

15.25 22 Sep 2021


Share this article


The Government has proposed new laws that would create an offence of stalking, carrying a maximum 10-year jail term.

The Seanad is to debate proposals making stalking a standalone offence distinct from current harassment law.

Fianna Fáil Senator Lisa Chambers has moved a bill which would introduce the offence.

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"Look to England, Scotland and Wales - where we've seen an increase in prosecutions and charging of perpetrators and people going to jail.

"And we want to see the victims being listened to", she says.

Una Ring, co-founder of Stalking Ireland, says her own experience of being stalked made her believe stronger laws are needed.

"He left another letter stating that I could actually have sex with him by consent, or he would break in and rape both me and my daughter.

"He came back to the house and he had a crowbar, rope, duct tape, he had a dildo strapped to himself, he had a lock-picking device in the car."

Una explains why existing laws on harassment are not enough.

"It was harassment when he was messaging me, but when somebody's creeping around your house to the point where you have to get in CCTV cameras, you have to have the Guards sitting outside - that's above and beyond harassment".

Eve McDowell is also a victim of stalking, and says she is shocked there is no specific law against it.

"We really need to start understanding the difference between harassment and stalking, because they are two different scales.

"The intentions of the perpetrator are different".

More information can be found on stalking.ieIn an emergency, call 999 or 112

Additional reporting: Jack Quann

Main image: Photo illustration shows a stalker looking at a woman through a blurred window in Germany in 2016. Picture by: Angelika Warmuth/DPA/PA Images

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Eve McDowell Harassment Law Lisa Chambers Offence Stalking Ireland Stalking Law Una Ring

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