Hate crime is sadly an issue that affects people every day.   Be it online or in public, people can and do say terrible things to each other.   Currently, Ireland has laws to protect people from this, The Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989. The Act makes it an offence to create or distribute racist, homophobic or other discriminatory materials. Offenders face a maximum of two years in prison and a fine of €10,000 

 

According to documents released by the Courts Service under the Freedom of Information Act, there have been 44 prosecutions under the Act since 2000, of which five resulted in convictions.

 

The Courts Service said figures from before 2000 are not available. However, the Department of Justice said in 2000 that no convictions had been recorded before that date. This tells us that in Ireland we do not have a hate crime problem. 

 

Hate Crime

current laws.

Free Speech

In the UK in 2018, Hate Crime Laws were used to arrest Mark Meechan.  He was found guilty on March 2018 for teaching his girlfriend's dog how to Nazi salute and posting a video about it to YouTube in 2016.   Meechan, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, went on trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court where he denied any wrong doing.

 

He insisted he made the video, which was posted in April 2016, to annoy his girlfriend Suzanne Kelly, 29.

 

But Sheriff Derek O'Carroll found him guilty of a charge under the Communications Act that he posted a video on social media and YouTube which was grossly offensive because it was "anti-semitic and racist in nature" and was aggravated by religious prejudice.

Sheriff O'Carroll told the court he did not believe Meechan had made the video only to annoy his girlfriend and ruled it was anti-Semitic.

 

Mark Meechan, who blogs under the name Count Dankula, was fined £800 in April after being found guilty under the Communications Act over the video which was viewed more than 3 million times on YouTube.

 

Many celebrities backed Mark including the creator of the office, Ricky Gervais.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why protect Free Speech?

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You don't have to support Marks's taste of what he describes as comedy, in fact, you don't have to even like Mark. What is important is that you must defend Mark's right to free speech,  in this case, we had someone trawl through his old YouTube posts to become offended.   Once they reported their complaint the UK Police arrested Mark of a hate crime.  Who decided what is offensive, who decided what is fair freedom of Expression?  Do you want someone trawling through your old social media posts looking for something to be offended with?

 

Oscar Wilde said it best,  

 

“I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.”

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Examples of how Hate Speech Laws can be used against you

Free Speech just isn't two words, free speech is your legal fundamental right to express your legitimate concerns or to question the Status Quo.

 

Free speech allows you to question the Government of the day, various agencies, even the media themselves.   Providing what you say conforms to current laws such as the Irish Defamation law, you are protected under the Irish Consitution to have freedom of expression. The Introduction of Hate Speech laws can be used against you for anything the government sees fit.  These types of laws are what we see every day in other countries used against their citizens to freely express their democratic voice. 

 

Do you trust this or any future government to govern what is fair for you to say or think?

 

Imagine what could currently be considered Hate Speech under these proposed laws,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wolfe Tones - Come out you Black and Tans, could be considered hate speech by certain sections of society.  Who's to say what people would find offence in, and under these proposed Hate Speech Laws the Gardai would be compelled to investigate and Charge should such an offence be breached.

Do what I say not what I do.

Fine Gael wants to force hate speech laws on us.  The Irony is that Fine Gael themselves would be in hot water with their planned hate speech laws

 

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In 2002 Former Taoiseach of Ireland, Enda Kenny found himself in hot water after making an anecdote which included the racist epithet "nigger" during a function attended by parliamentary colleagues, party workers and political journalists.

 

Read More here

Why now?

Why does the government want to introduce hate speech laws now?

 

Lidl recently published an advert that highlighted a family called the Ryans saving money at one of their stores.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many people took to social media to point out that there was no way this family could be called the Ryan,  As you can see from the video the father holds no resemblance to a historical ethnic Irish person.  Many people pointed out that this was social engineering created to force ethnic populations to accept non-nationals as  Irish citizens. 

 

Soon after the media picked up on this and started to publish the plight of "The Ryan" family and the abuse they were receiving.

 

The couple traveled to Britain on Sunday, September 29th, with their son (22 months), after receiving a message, they say, via social media threatening to kill them and referring to Mr Mathis and their son as n****rs.

 

It should be noted that despite huge media coverage regarding the "Ryans", none of the media articles we have come across actually show the alleged death threats they received on Social Media.

 

In fact, further investigations have led to the discovery that the couple is indeed professional actors. 

 

Fiona Ryan, 33, her partner Jonathan Mathis, 32.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even more curious to the case of the Ryans was the recent case of Charlie Flanagan who was asked Questions at the recent Ploughing championships.  Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Charlie Flanagan said he would like to see new legislation on hate speech introduced next year, saying it is important that our legislation in this area is fit for purpose.  Mr. Flannagan then referred to the terrible abuse he received at the Championships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly it seems Minister Flanagan only cares about certain sectors in society from hate speech, including that special group, Politicians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sadly it seems Minister Flanagan only cares about certain sectors in society from hate speech, including that special group, Politicians.

It was not long after this that the government started talking about Hate Legislation. 

 

Even more curious to the case of the Ryans was the recent case of Charlie Flanagan who was asked Questions at the recent Ploughing championships.  Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Charlie Flanagan said he would like to see new legislation on hate speech introduced next year, saying it is important that our legislation in this area is fit for purpose.  Mr. Flannagan then referred to the terrible abuse he received at the Championships.