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Domestic violence: Ireland increases penalties for offenders 

Dublin: New legislation has taken effect today, ushering in stricter sentencing measures for domestic violence and organised and serious crimes. The Criminal Justice Miscellaneous Provisions Act, which has been enacted, will result in longer prison terms for individuals convicted of assaulting gardaí or other emergency personnel while on duty.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee emphasised that this legislation aligns with the government’s commitment to combat domestic violence, sexual offences, gender-based crimes, and gang-related assaults. Specifically, the maximum sentence for assault causing harm will be elevated from five years to ten years.

Furthermore, this comprehensive legislation broadens the definition of harassment offences to encompass any behaviour that significantly disrupts an individual’s peace and privacy or causes them fear, distress, or harm.

Minister McEntee also noted that the law introduces a new offence with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, comparable to penalties for acts such as strangulation or suffocation.

In addition, the maximum sentence for assaults on gardaí and other emergency personnel on duty has been increased from seven to 12 years. Likewise, in cases of conspiracy to commit murder, which are often prosecuted as gang-related offences, the maximum sentence has been elevated to life imprisonment.

Consequently, the maximum sentence for conspiracy to commit murder has been raised from the existing ten years to life in prison, reinforcing the legal framework for combating gang-related crimes.

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