"Given the demographic structure of Ireland and fertility and mortality trends, faster population growth would require higher international net immigration into Ireland. This would only arise if Ireland were sufficiently attractive economically and if migrants could find accommodation at affordable prices.
This implies that the average age across the population will increase more rapidly than has been the case and that unless immigration increases, overall population growth will slow."
Projections are produced for each county and over the period 2016 to 2040 the national population is projected to increase by almost 900,000 persons to 5.634 million.
We believe the current law to be sufficient to provide the Gardai and the courts to deal with any issues arising through what they consider hate crime. The proposed changes are designed to allow the government to reclass what THEY consider to be hate crime.
Minister Flanagan has already associated hate crime with being approached and asked some questions. This is very dangerous territory where a minister can consider citizen's genuine questions as hate crimes.
Only last year Ireland voted to remove Blasphemy laws from the Irish Consitution. at the time Minister Flanagan who campaigned with his Party Fine Gael said,
"I believe it's timely that we affirm our belief in a more inclusive society where communication between those of different belief systems can take place on an equal basis with tolerance and respect as guiding principles.
"I acknowledge that removal of the offence from our Constitution is, on the face of it, a relatively small thing.
"Nonetheless, I believe it's deeply symbolic in a very tangible way and it would confirm our status as a modern, democratic society."
Why has Minister Flanagan now decided to try to stop Ireland from being a modern, democratic society?
It does seem that Minister Flanagan and his government had other motives, At the time, Neale Richmond of Fine Gael wrote that once blasphemy was removed from the Constitution, hate speech could be dealt with in legislation.
Currently, in Ireland, there is a growing concern about the government's plans to repopulate local communities with asylum seekers. The government has been trying unsuccessfully to open up Direct Provision centres across the country to accommodate this. There has been a growing fightback from those communities in attempts to stop this.
In response, the government has started talking about Hate Speech, associating the resistance to Direct Provisions centres with Hate speech.
Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny for Sligo-Leitrim raised concerns during Leaders' Questions about the increasing use of "far right" language, particularly in conversations around Direct Provision centres.
Mr Kenny said that legitimate concerns people may hold about such centres are being "twisted into reasons to be intolerant".
In Response to this, Minister Mr Flanagan said it is a "vociferous minority" who are engaging in the use of this language, and said he had no difficulty in calling it out.
He said there is an "onus and duty" on all public representatives to provide leadership in their communities.
Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Mr Flanagan said it is important that our legislation in this area is fit for purpose. "I don't want to interfere with the fundamental freedom of speech but at the same time I'm very concerned about what I'm hearing as to the manner in which minority groups in particular are being treated and the fact that offensive speech, hate speech is becoming common place in Ireland. "I don't think that is good and I want to outlaw it," he said.
We can see here that the government is attempting to suggest that the Irish people are becoming hateful to minorities in Ireland, verbally assaulting them in the streets and offending them with hate speech. Even if this were true why do the Gardai not use the current law to stop this? In our view, this is nothing more than the government's attempts to shut down local opposition and growing national anger towards changes in the dynamic and cultural makeup of this country from concerned citizens. The Irish government in their plan for 2040 have already stated they want to grow the population of Ireland by a further 1 million. With falling birth rates by Irish mothers there is only one way this target can be achieved, that is through Immigration.
We feel the government is using supposed hate speech laws to not only suppress free discussion on Direct Provision centres across the country but to suppress free speech and discussion on their plans to increase the population of Ireland by 1 million immigrants by 2040. Regardless of your views on immigration, it is vital these proposed changes to the law are stopped. If the government can use these laws to prevent free speech on the future of this country what else will they use these blanket laws to restrict?