Father of murdered girl backs motion for the implementation of Clare’s Law
By Eleanor McGillie
THE father of a woman murdered in Manchester in 2006 by her ex partner is backing a motion which will be raised this week at the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Biennial Delegate Conference in Derry/Londonderry.
Michael Brown, whose daughter Clare Wood was murdered by her ex-partner, led the Clare’s Law campaign in England, Scotland and Wales to bring a Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme into law.
But here in Northern Ireland, the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme is not enforced in spite of figures showing that last year alone six murders had a ‘domestic abuse motivation’ while almost 3,000 cases included sexual offences including 737 rapes. The PSNI responds to domestic incidents every 20 minutes.
On Wednesday, a motion entitled the ‘Implementation of Clare’s Law in Northern Ireland’ will call on the Northern Ireland Committee of ICTU to develop a public awareness campaign and to lobby the Justice Minister and the assembly for the full implementation of Clare’s Law to ensure women here are afforded the same protection.
Speaking ahead of this week’s conference, Michael Brown said women in Northern Ireland deserve to have the same rights as women across the UK.
He said: “George Appleton made a total nuisance of himself with my daughter. But it was only much later, and after my daughter was murdered by him, that we discovered his violent past. Clare was murdered on February 2, 2006. Her body lay for four days. We had to wait 26 months for the coroner’s inquest. There was a police investigation into the police investigation, Salford Council had an investigation and the IPCC had their own investigation.
“At the pre-coroner’s hearing I had three hours to ask questions. I asked questions about Appleton but this was at a time when data protection meant information about him could not have been shared. So, I did national interviews and then met a journalist called Michelle Livesey. We joined forces to create a campaign calling for a law to be created in honour of Clare’s memory to help protect other women again violent partners.
“Clare’s Law has since been rolled out in England, Scotland and Wales but not in Northern Ireland. I am delighted that Clare’s Law is being brought forward at the ICTU conference because awareness must be raised among women. I totally back the motion which will be raised at conference.”
Clare Moore, Equality Officer with ICTU, said: “Campaigning on the issue of domestic violence is very much a trade union issue and the ICTU has worked hard to lobby for the implementation of Clare’s Law in Northern Ireland.
“The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is an important legislative protection which has been in force in other parts of the UK for quite some time so we welcome the Department of Justice’s move to consult on its introduction in Northern Ireland.
“This issue will be debated at the biennial policy setting conference of ICTU on Wednesday when delegates representing thousands of members will call for women in Northern Ireland to be afforded the same protection as granted to women in other parts of the UK.”
The Northern Ireland Committee (NIC) of the ICTU is the representative body for 34 trade unions with over 215,000 members across Northern Ireland. In membership terms it is the largest civil society organisation in Northern Ireland.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
- Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) is the single umbrella organisations for trade unions on the island of Ireland. Congress is the largest civil society organisation in Ireland. It is the apex body representing 750,000 workers affiliated through 64 trade unions in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The organisation is required, through its mission statement, to strive to achieve economic development, social cohesion and justice by upholding the values of solidarity, fairness and equality.
- The Northern Ireland Committee (NIC) of the ICTU is the representative body for 34 trade unions with over 215,000 members across Northern Ireland. In membership terms it is the largest civil society organisation in Northern Ireland. Information on the NIC is available on www.ictuni.org
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