The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald announced that the Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Act 2015 comes into operation today. Ms Fitzgerald stated: "Burglary of a person's home is a heinous crime and traumatic for every victim."
"This important new act targets repeat burglars. It will help keep repeat burglars off the streets and improve the safety of our communities."The act allows for bail to be denied, and consecutive sentences to be given, to repeat burglars," said Ms Fitzgerald.
The Criminal Justice (Burglary of Dwellings) Act 2015 provides that, for the purposes of bail applications, a previous conviction for domestic burglary coupled with two or more pending charges shall be evidence of likelihood to commit further domestic burglaries.
This provision allows a court, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to conclude that the accused person is likely to commit a serious offence and could, therefore, refuse bail on that ground.
Ms Fitzgerald added: "I am prioritising efforts to tackle Ireland's hardened cohort of repeat offenders. Tackling repeat offending will reduce crime levels and this new act is an important step forward."
The act also places a requirement on a court which decides to impose prison sentences for multiple burglary offences to impose those sentences consecutively.