Children Act 2001

Interviewing children.

61

61.—(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4), a child who has been detained in a Garda Síochána station pursuant to any enactment shall not be questioned, or asked to make a written statement, in relation to an offence in respect of which he or she has been arrested unless in the presence of—

( a) a parent or guardian, or

( b) in his or her absence, another adult (not being a member of the Garda Síochána) nominated by the member in charge of the station.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the member in charge of the station may authorise the questioning of the child or the taking of a written statement in the absence of a parent or guardian, where the member has reasonable grounds for believing that to delay the questioning would involve a risk of death or injury to persons, serious loss of or damage to property, destruction of or interference with evidence or escape of accomplices.

(3) The member in charge of the station may authorise the exclusion of a parent or guardian during the questioning of the child or the taking of a written statement where—

( a) the parent or guardian is the victim of, or has been arrested in respect of, the offence being investigated,

( b) the member has reasonable grounds for suspecting the parent or guardian of complicity in the offence, or

( c) the member has reasonable grounds for believing that the parent or guardian would, if present during the questioning or the taking of a written statement, be likely to obstruct the course of justice.

(4) The member in charge of the station may authorise the removal of a parent or guardian during the questioning of the child or the taking of a written statement where the member has reasonable grounds for believing that the conduct of the parent or guardian is such as to amount to an obstruction of the course of justice.

(5) Where the child or his or her parent or guardian asks for a solicitor, he or she shall not be asked to make a statement, either orally or in writing, in relation to an offence until a reasonable time for the attendance of the solicitor has elapsed.

(6) A child who is from a Gaeltacht area or whose first language is Irish shall be entitled to be questioned or to make a written statement in the Irish language, and any other child shall be entitled to make a written or oral statement in that language.

(7) In this section references to a parent or guardian include references to an adult relative of the child, an adult reasonably named by the child pursuant to section 58(2)(a) or the adult mentioned in subsection (1)(b).