Wednesday, 12 March 2003
Dáil Eireann Debate
157. Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if his attention has been drawn to comments reportedly made by two senior gardaí in Waterford accusing some women of wasting Garda time and resources by making false allegations of rape; if he will urge the gardaí to exercise care to ensure that such comments do not act as a deterrent to women reporting cases of rape; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7321/03]
Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): The newspaper article which gave rise to the Deputy's question focused on the problems of public order and alcohol abuse, with  particular reference to the consequences for young people of excessive drinking.
I have no doubt that the Garda authorities are fully aware of the need for sensitivity in any public comments made by members of the service and that their primary concern is to ensure that victims report the crimes in question to the Garda Síochána. Rape and sexual assault are serious offences which can have a traumatic effect on the victim. It is critically important that victims of such crimes continue to be encouraged to come forward and report these crimes to the Garda Síochána.
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