Thursday, 23 July 2009

Blasphemy is now illegal in Ireland

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I have just learned via Atheist Ireland that the Irish President, Mary McAleese, has this morning signed the Defamation Act into law, which includes clauses which create the offence of "blasphemous libel". RTE reports that, following a meeting with the Council of State yesterday, McAleese decided not to refer the act to the Supreme Court to consider its constitutionality.

So from now on it is technically a crime in Ireland to produce or say anything "that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage." Doing so could incur a fine of up to €25,000.

Atheist Ireland have promised to put out a blasphemous statement, offensive to all religions in Ireland, in order to test the law - more details on that soon.

5 comments:

James said...

As an Irish person I'm ashamed to see this bill passed. I never thought I'd see the day this soon that the North is more liberal than the south.

Morgan said...

That is terrible. That is effectively squashing freedom of speech in favour of one side. Imagine the uproar if it had been in the opposite direction and religious people were now going to be fined for making statements that could be offensive to atheists! It is just plain wrong.

Amadán said...

Hmm. As I said yesterday, it's apity this is on the books but in effect it means nothing, because the offence is unprosecutable. It's just a relic of Auld Catlick Oireland that Fianna Fáil haven't the balls to get rid of.

Faster Sven said...

@Morgan: Well, now they've really shot themselves in the foot... How about this? We establish a new religion and make it part of its holy principles that any and all religious statements (other than those of our new religion) are blasphemic and hurtful.

Ta-bloody-da!

Ade said...

We have all been sold out to Islam.


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