Minister says Safe Access Zones Bill protects rights of both protestors and those seeking healthcare

Minister Stephen Donnelly says the bill protects the public’s right to protest as well as the right of others to access services.

Under the Safe Access Zones Bill, protests will be banned within 100 metres of healthcare buildings in order to protect those attempting to access services, such as abortions.

The bill would see that protestors are given a warning and if they continue to protest near banned areas, their behaviour will be treated as an offence and they will receive a charge.

However, the challenge of recording continual offenders has been noted, and Mr. Donnelly has stated that they will explore the possibility of a special garda database for keeping track of repeat offenders.

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