Some positive news for the many people who have minor convictions dating from more than 7 years ago, or non-convictions under Section 1(1)(i) and 1(1)(ii) of the Probation Act 1907:
Since 31st March 2014, an ‘administrative filter’ has been in place whereby certain information is no longer included on Garda vetting forms, including:
- Disposals under Section 1(1)(i) or 1(1)(ii) of the Probation Act 1907
- Convictions for minor motoring offences more than 7 years old
- Convictions for certain minor public order offences more than 7 years old (see list)
- District court convictions for other minor offences more than 7 years old – where the person has only one such offence, excluding minor motoring offences or minor public offences.
Exact details, including exceptions, are available here.
See also some FAQs on the Garda Siochána website here.
This ‘filter’ has been in operation since 31st March 2014; a circular was sent out to vetting organisations end May 2014, with a revised vetting form due to be sent out shortly. In other words, it applies now.
This is very positive news.
A requirement to disclose all convictions - no matter how minor, no matter how irrelevant, no matter how long ago - presents a barrier to the many people who want to work as teachers, or volunteer with their children's sports clubs, and so on. This has amounted to disproportionate punishment for very minor offences, often committed when the person was aged 18 or 19, in some cases decades ago. To this end, IPRT strongly welcomes these changes.
At the same time, IPRT’s campaign for strong and robust Spent Convictions legislation continues. We are delighted that these changes have been introduced, but we have a lot more work to do to make sure that everyone is supported in moving on from offending behaviour.