In Northern Ireland, blasphemy remains a crime. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and shall respect and honour religion. [120] On 20 December 2018, Flanagan published the general scheme of the "Repeal of Offence of Publication or Utterance of Blasphemous Matter Bill" for introduction in 2019. We had three tours of public meetings around Ireland about the need to repeal the blasphemy law, in 2009, 2012, and 2018. He thought it was a "wonderfully Irish solution" to the problem of outdated legislation that could not be repealed without a referendum that they "just engineer[ed] it a little so that it became preposterous. Blasphemy laws and punishments from countries around the world. [79] On the date on which the law came into effect, it published a series of potentially blasphemous quotations on its website and vowed to challenge any resulting legal action. [100][101][102][103] Several submitters were invited to make presentations at the meeting. On 20 May 2009 at the Bill's committee stage, section 36, dealing with blasphemy was introduced by Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern as an amendment. [106], In October 2014, Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin gave the official government response to the Convention's report on blasphemy, announcing that it had decided to hold a referendum on the issue. 59 of 2019", "Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Bill 2019 — No. [132] These powers were retained in the most recent legislation of 2008,[133] but the "blasphemous" criterion was deleted by the Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Act 2019. “… By removing this provision from our Constitution, we can send a strong message to the world that laws against blasphemy do not reflect Irish values and that we do not believe such laws should exist.”, A referendum had previously been due to take place in 2015, on the recommendation of the Constitutional Convention. And as of 2020, Scotland has begun the process of repealing its blasphemy … The Republic of Ireland will hold a referendum on whether to change its laws against blasphemy. And yet now the Minister for Justice is seeking to revive this anachronistic medieval crime in modern Ireland. Of the countries listed in the report, 17 countries have apostasy laws, 70 countries have blasphemy laws, and 6 have anti-conversion laws. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 25, 2018 . [147] Sacrilege was the charge used to prosecute theft from church poor boxes. [12] Initially tried under canon law, he was handed over to the civil power as a repeat offender. A referendum solely for that purpose "would rightly be seen as a time wasting and expensive exercise". [144], The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland's voluntary code of conduct requires advertising to "avoid causing offence on grounds of … religion" and not to "ridicule or exploit religious beliefs, symbols, rites or practices". Ahern said:[76]. Jurist Katherine A.E. “Blasphemy laws are unjust: They silence people in order to protect ideas. [115] On 28 August the date of the Presidential election and hence the referendum was fixed for 26 October. [112] Simon Harris, the Minister for Health, said the law at the time was "silly, a little embarrassing and needs to be changed". "Commencements, Amendments, SIs for Acts of 1923", "Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Bill 2019: Second Stage", "Free Speech, the Common Good and the Rights Debate", Censorship of Publications Bill, 1945—Second Stage, "Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Act 1976, Section 21", "Private Members' Business — Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill 1975 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)", "Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill 1975 [Seanad]: Committee Stage (Resumed)", Submissions to the Constitutional Convention, Thirty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Repeal of offence of publication or utterance of blasphemous matter) Bill 2018,, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the ODNB, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 November 2020, at 13:03. Ireland (MNN) — Thanks to Ireland, there is one less country in the world with a blasphemy law on the books. These powers were retained in the most recent legislation of 2008, but the "blasphemous" criterion was deleted by the Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Act 2019. [124] The Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Bill 2019 was formally introduced in the Seanad on 17 July 2019,[125] and passed there unamended on 25 September. [41], The 1937 Constitution as enacted stated "The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law"[43][b] and "The State acknowledges that the homage of public worship is due to Almighty God. Atheist Ireland has spent more than a decade lobbying for repeal of the blasphemy law with the Irish Government and Department of Justice, as well as at the United Nations, OSCE and the Council of Europe. [75] Only the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) can instigate proceedings, as distinct from private prosecutions like Corway. Ireland has become the eighth country to abolish its “blasphemy” laws since 2015. As a result, Sinn Fein, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, the Alliance Party, the Green Party, and the People Before Profit Alliance to commit to repeal, with the UUP still developing policy on the matter, and only the DUP opposed. [10] Profanity was generally regarded by legal scholars as synonymous with blasphemy. The Joint Committee on the Constitution's report on Article 40.6.1.i. [83], The Censorship of Publications Acts (1929 and 1946) did not include blasphemy among possible grounds for banning, which were indecency, obscenity, promotion of "unnatural" contraception or abortion, and (in the case of periodicals) excessive focus on crime. In an attempt to embody this constitutional provision, lawmakers inserted a section on blasphemy into the Defamation Act of 2009. The letter, published today in the Sunday Times Irish edition, implores Ireland to vote for repeal, saying: “You have the opportunity to send a clear signal to the global family of nations that “blasphemy” laws contravene the human rights to freedom of thought and freedom of expression and should be repealed.” 13/2020 — Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Act 2019 (Commencement) Order 2020", "Blasphemy officially abolished as a criminal offence".

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