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Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

Discriminatory legislation is generally not present in Irish legal system, with the exception of, perhaps, the Defamation Act (2009), which includes blasphemy as a punishable offence. Such offence is punishable by a fine of up to 25 000 euros.

Indeed, Ireland’s Court Service has just five recorded convictions of hate crime from 1989 to 2017. Furthermore, in March 2017, this was highlighted by experts in hate crime who appeared before the Oireachtascalling for the introduction of hate crime legislation “as a matter of urgency”.

A Private Members’ Bill was introduced at the time by FiannaFáil TD, Fiona O’Loughlin, calling for all political parties to support the introduction of the law- making it a criminal offence to attack individuals based on their race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Previous attempts by O’Loughlin have got to the second stage in the lower house of the Irish Parliament(DáilÉireann) and no further. A report in the same month by the anti-racism NGO, European Network Against Racism (ENAR) Ireland, found (alleged) racist criminal offences were up by 25% on the previous six months (161 reported incidences in January-June 2017 versus 140 in July-December 2016)

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