THE MOTHER of a young boy who was murdered last year has appealed for a ban on the naming of child victims to be overturned.
The 11-year-old boy was murdered in the south west of the country last year, and while the horrific incident gained widespread media publicity at the time, new legislation means that child victims cannot be identified.
This ban also applies to those charged with their murder, and the child's family members, so as to prevent the child from being identified.
The 11-year-old's mother, who also cannot be named to prevent the identification of her son, has issued an emotional appeal to the Minister for Justice to overturn the new legislation so that her son, and others like him, will "not be forgotten".
A man who has pleaded guilty to her son's murder is expected to be sentenced today, but will not be identified; the woman argues he should be identified "to be shown for what he did".
"He is a child murderer, and people need to know that," she added, according to The Irish Independent.
Speaking on the new legislation which aims to protect children's identity even after their death, the grieving mother said:
"I don't think there is any benefit to [son] from it, I think it is more beneficial to [accused].
"We are not allowed speak publicly about [son] – it’s like his identity is just gone and brushed under the table," she said.
"We can’t talk about him and live on his legacy and his memory, and it’s very painful. It’s like everything is against the victims and everything is going in favour of the man that did this to [him]. It just seems very unfair.
"It’s like [my son] didn’t exist," she said.
Calling on Minister for Justice McEntee to fast-track the overturning of the ban so her son will "not be forgotten", she said:
"I’m proud of [my son]. I want to be able to speak about him, I want to be able to tell the world about him. He had so many good qualities. He was so funny, a messer, always happy. In school he was the teacher’s pet. He was a loveable little rogue, and he loved all sport, boxing, soccer, jogging, and animals and nature. I don’t want him to be forgotten."
The bereaved mother also revealed how she had been contacted and supported by another woman whose child died in similar tragic circumstances after the news of her own son's murder was highlighted in the media at the time.
She now fears that, in the future, devastated parents will miss out on this vital support from others in their situation if their child and family cannot be identified.
The ban on the naming of children was brought in after a Court of Appeals ruling which found that the 2001 Children's Act should be extended to ban the identification of children who died as a result of a crime even after their passing.
The move has been criticised by many, including multiple families whose children died in tragic circumstances and now cannot be named.
The Oireachtas has previously said they will aim to change the legislation.