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PAEDOS TO WALK FREE; 100 sex beasts will leave jail without treatment.

MORE than 100 dangerous sex offenders will be freed from Irish jails this year - but none has had treatment to stop them abusing again.

And last night the government's prison treatment programme was branded "pitiful" by critics. The attack came just a day after Justice Minister John O'Donoghue unveiled a long-awaited perverts'' register.

But experts from the Irish Penal Reform Trust hit out at the new measures, claiming treatment for abusers was far more important.

Spokesman Ian O'Donnell said: "The real issue is the lack of treatment opportunities for sex offenders in custody and in the community.

"One in eight men sentenced in Ireland at the moment is doing time for a sex offence.

"They are going to be released at the rate of one or two a week over the coming year - that's a lot of people being released into the community untreated.

"Currently, we have 10 treatment places for more than 300 convicted sex offenders. It's a pitifully poor level of provision."

Both Arbour Hill and Curragh prisons are filled with dangerous paedophiles.

Among them are repeat offenders such as pervert swimming coach Derry O'Rourke, who is serving 12 years for abusing young girls.

O'Rourke appeared in court again yesterday where he was sent forward for trial on almost new allegations.

Ireland's most evil dad Joseph McColgan is also in prison and is believed to have had no rehabilitation treatment.

He is serving a 12-year jail term for a 17-year reign of abuse against his own children.

The nation's most dangerous sex offender, Anthony 'the Beast' Cawley, will be due out of prison in the next few years.

Cawley, who was horrifically abused himself as a child, is a serial rapist who even raped a cell mate and assaulted a nun who visited him in prison.

There are also dozens of pervert priests in the sex offender prisons including Fr Ivan Payne, who preyed on young altar boys in Dublin.

The 100 paedophiles due for release in 2000 will have their names added to the new abusers' register.

Once they are freed they will be obliged under law to report any change of address or trips abroad lasting 10 days or more.

Failure to notify Gardai will be a serious offence, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment of up to 12 months.

Under the new legislation Gardai will also have the power to apply to the courts for a sex offender barring order, if they feel children are at risk from perverts.

It will also be an offence for a convicted sex offender to look for or accept employment where they would have access to children without informing employers of their convictions.

However, critics have argued that while Gardai will be aware of where abusers are living, their neighbours will not be alerted to who they are.

And they have claimed that the new register does not go far enough to protect women and children - with only one treatment facility in the entire country for child abusers.

But the programme at Arbour Hill jail in Dublin takes just 10 sex offenders at a time and takes more than a year to complete.

Last year, 171 sex offenders were released from prison, and just 12 of those received counselling or treatment.

The government has pledged a second treatment facility but opposition politicians have demanded more action and claimed that treatment facilities must be made compulsory for all sex offenders.

At present, rapists and perverts can decide whether or not to be treated by experts.
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Author:Leslie, Neil
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2000
Words:585
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