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Carlow mother says new legislation will leave murder victims like her sons forgotten

Kathleen Chada's sons Eoghan and Ruairí were killed by their father in 2013

A Carlow mother says a new law which prevents murdered children from being publicly identified will have a “devastating impact”.

Legislation passed in the Court of Appeals this week states that an underage victim cannot be named, or have any identifying details published about them, once somebody has been charged with killing them.

Kathleen Chada’s two sons Eoghan and Ruairi were murdered by their father Sanjeev in 2013, and she has been a public campaigner against his parole ever since.

Kathleen says that although she fears the day her ex-husband will eventually be released, her greatest concern is that the two sons he stole form her will one day be forgotten;

“What I’m more scared of in a way is that Eoghan and Ruairi will be forgotten. They won’t be forgotten by family and friends, but I think for any parent who loses a child it’s probably the biggest fear. That’s why I’ve been talking for the last six years since the trial.”

Speaking on The Way It Is, Kathleen explained that the need to keep her children’s memory alive is what first inspired her to speak publicly about the tragedy. She now fears that the new legislation will stop others from preserving their loved ones’ legacy like she’s been able to;

“I wanted everybody to see Eoghan and Ruairi as they are for me, not as they were described in the trial, with all of the details that came out” she shared. “I wanted people to know that I’m normal, and that these horrific things can happen in the most normal of families. I wouldn’t have been able to do that with this legislation.”

Kathleen says this legislation would have censored her had it existed seven years ago, but she doesn’t think that was the aim;

“I don’t believe that this was the intention of any of the legislation, I think it’s a very unintended consequence. But it just goes to show how one small paragraph in a Bill that’s 20 years old could have such a devastating impact now all of a sudden, and that’s what I don’t understand.”