Children and Family Relationships Act 2015
Powers of authorised persons
31. (1) For the purposes of this Act, an authorised person may—
(a) subject to subsection (3), enter and inspect at all reasonable times any premises—
(i) which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing are being used as a DAHR facility, or
(ii) at which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing records or documents relating to a DAHR facility are being kept,
(b) at such premises inspect and take copies of, any books, records or other documents (including books, records or documents stored in non-legible form), or extracts therefrom, that he or she finds in the course of his or her inspection,
(c) remove any such books, documents or records from such premises and detain them for such period as he or she reasonably considers to be necessary for the purposes of his or her functions under this Act,
(i) the operator of the DAHR facility, or
(ii) any person at the premises concerned, including the owner or person in charge of that place or premises,
to give the authorised person such information and assistance as the authorised person may reasonably require for the purposes of his or her functions under this Act,
(i) the operator of the DAHR facility, or
(ii) any persons at the premises concerned, including the owner or person in charge of that place or premises,
to produce to the authorised person such books, documents or other records (and in the case of documents or records stored in non-legible form, produce to him or her a legible reproduction thereof) that are in that person’s possession or procurement, or under that person’s control, as he or she may reasonably require for the purposes of his or her functions under this Act, and
(f) examine with regard to any matter under this Act any person whom the authorised person has reasonable grounds for believing to be—
(i) the operator of a DAHR facility, or
(ii) to be employed at a DAHR facility,
and require the person to answer such questions as the authorised person may ask relative to those matters and to make a declaration of the truth of the answers to those questions.
(2) When performing a function under this Act, an authorised person may, subject to any warrant under subsection (4), be accompanied by such number of other authorised persons or members of the Garda Síochána as he or she considers appropriate.
(3) An authorised person shall not enter a dwelling, other than—
(a) with the consent of the occupier, or
(b) pursuant to a warrant under subsection (4).
(4) Upon the sworn information of an authorised person, a judge of the District Court may—
(a) for the purposes of enabling an authorised person to carry out an inspection of premises that the authorised person has reasonable grounds for believing are being used as a DAHR facility, or
(b) if satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that information, books, documents or other records (including information, books, documents or records stored in non-legible form) required by an authorised person under this section is or are held in any place or premises,
issue a warrant authorising a named authorised person accompanied by such other authorised persons or members of the Garda Síochána as may be necessary, at any time or times, before the expiration of one month from the date of issue of the warrant, to enter the dwelling and perform the functions of an authorised person under subsection (1).
(5) A person commits an offence if he or she—
(a) obstructs or interferes with an authorised person or a member of the Garda Síochána in the course of exercising a power conferred on him or her by this Act or a warrant under subsection (4) or impedes the exercise by the person or member, as the case may be, of such power, or
(b) fails or refuses to comply with a request or requirement of, or to answer a question asked by, the person or member pursuant to this section, or in purported compliance with such request or requirement or in answer to such question gives information to the person or member that he or she knows to be false or misleading in any material respect.
(6) Where an authorised person believes, upon reasonable grounds, that a person has committed an offence under this Act, he or she may require that person to provide him or her with his or her name and the address at which he or she ordinarily resides.
(7) A statement or admission made by a person pursuant to a requirement under subsection (1)(d) or (f) shall not be admissible as evidence in proceedings brought against the person for an offence (other than an offence under subsection (5)).
(8) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable—
(a) on summary conviction to a class A fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, and
(b) on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €70,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.