Ministers @CharlieFlanagan and @davidstantontd launched a consultation on hate speech this morning. The Government is seeking the public’s views as part of an update of Ireland’s laws on hate speech and hate crime.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Flanagan said:
“Ireland has become a different society over the past 20 years, a much more diverse country, one in which people’s differences can be accepted and embraced as bringing value to our communities. There is, however, evidence that a minority of people are determined to subject others to abuse and attack resulting from nothing more than their own prejudice and intolerance. This abuse can take place anywhere – on the street, on public transport, on the sports field, online and everywhere in between. I want to make clear that this is not acceptable to the Government and not acceptable to the people of Ireland.”
AT A PHOTOCALL ON THURSDAY OCTOBER 24TH Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan launched a public consultation on proposed updating of existing legislation to cover "perceived hate speech". Also in attendance was Minister for Immigration David Stanton and Councillor for the Green Party for Pembroke Ward, Hazel Chu. Also in attendance and pictured wearing a high visibility Dublin Bus vest, was an individual described in the press release as "athlete Brandon Arrey".
Concurrently on Thursday, Brandon Arrey, a 23 year old Cameroon native now living in Ireland and who represented Ireland in the European Athletics Championships in 2018, posted on his Twitter page (@brandonarr3y):
"Honour to meet Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan at consultation today. A new legislation to tackle hate speech will be implemented in Ireland. An updated version of this law which will reflect the changes in modern day society with the development of social media platforms." An accompanying photograph shows Mr. Arrey shaking hands with the Minister.
In a tweet then posted by Mr. Arrey at 12.26p.m. on Saturday October 26th in response to a tweet posted by journalist Gemma O'Doherty advising of a protest against the proposed legislation, Mr. Arrey wrote unilaterally to Ms. O'Doherty:
“There's a difference between hate speech and free speech Gemma. We need hate laws in this country, because you cant sit there and tell me your supporters can insult someone due to their skin colour or sexual preference and not get prosecuted for it. Thats not how the world works”
Three hours later following Mr. Arrey's tweet, Minister Flanagan's Twitter account at 3.40p.m. retweeted Mr. Arrey's Thursday tweet adding the commentary:
“My real pleasure to meet 400m athlete @brandonarr3y. The 400m is a really long sprint. It's a really tough run made for special people like Brandon. Delighted to wish him all the best personally & for Ireland.”
However at 2.40p.m. one hour earlier, Twitter user Broadsword @ForFactsSake101 posted a tweet bearing three screenshots of historic tweets posted on Mr. Arrey's account. This tweet is posted below. One of the tweets reposted and attributed to Mr. Arrey is dated 15th May 2013 and reads: “Went to the burren today and the tour guide beuor kept calling “Brendan”!!!! I was like MY NAME IS BRANDON YOU FUCKING WHORE!!!”
Other Twitter Users then began to discover other abusive tweets from Brandon,
An Arson Attack was carried out on a vehicle of Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny.
No reasons are known for the attack but the media were quick to link the attack to Mr. Kenny's support of Direct Provision Centers in the area of Ballinamore.
The Foreign Affairs Minister landed himself in hot water after seemingly using the offensive four-letter expletive to describe the party
A government minister has insisted he didn’t mean to cause “offence” when he appeared to brand Sinn Fein c***s.
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan landed himself in hot water after seemingly using the offensive four-letter expletive to describe the party.
The Fine Gael TD appeared to use the c word in a heated Twitter exchange with Sinn Fein TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn on Wednesday night.
The spat started when the Minister tweeted: “2015 offers Ireland the choice of constitutional politics or cult politics.”
Donegal Deputy Mac Lochlainn hit back with a picture of founding Fine Gael member Eoin O’Duffy – whose name is synonymous with fascism – and added: “Hopefully cult politics doesn’t make a comeback.”
And when Mr Flanagan was asked by another user if he’d spelt cult wrong, he replied: “Yep left out the ‘n’.”
But speaking to the Irish Mirror today, he insisted: “I made reference to cult politics and I don’t mean any offence.”
When pressed about saying he “left out the ‘n’”, the Minister added: “I have to leave it at that.”
To date, Minister Charlie Flanagan or Brandon have any official statement or apology. Brandon has since deleted his Twitter account. The Minister also seems to be unaware that Brandon has deleted his Twitter Account