Illegal in Ireland: Blasphemy

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Well it has happened. The President has signed the Defamation Bill into law today which means in Ireland you can now be prosecuted for blasphemy. Yes that is right, in this Ireland of the 21st Century I can no longer complain about God, Jehovah, Allah, The Flying Spagetti Monster, or any other deity in case I get prosecuted for the crime of blasphemous libel.

Now while I am a church going person (Church of Ireland), with a healthy respect for himself upstairs, I don’t he (or any other deity) is going to be too upset if an unbeliever blasphemes against him (or her or them). Are priest now going to have to be very careful with what they say in their sermons if they mention another religion.

Its crazy that in this day and age I have to be very careful in what I type, say, tweet or what ever in case someone takes offense in what I say and decides to try and bring a prosecution against me.

Its a bollocks to be honest. I agree with my Bishop, its time to take Blasphemy out of the Irish Constitution!

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Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for SpirtualityIreland.org and UCC Express.

5 thoughts on “Illegal in Ireland: Blasphemy”

  1. Just on a point, section 36 of the Defamation Act outlines the following:

    (3) It shall be a defence to proceedings for an offence under this
    section for the defendant to prove that a reasonable person would
    find genuine literary, artistic, political, scientific, or academic value
    in the matter to which the offence relates.

    (4) In this section “religion” does not include an organisation or 20
    cult—
    (a) the principal object of which is the making of profit, or
    (b) that employs oppressive psychological manipulation—
    (i) of its followers, or
    (ii) for the purpose of gaining new followers.

    Whilst I agree the legislature has a long, long list of concerns before looking at something as trivial as blashphemy – the law has so many exemptions and defences as to be almost meaningless.

    1. Thats what I mean, but still these defences have to be made in Court and if say for example someone accuses me of blasphemy, I cant afford legal representation so I am not able to claim these defences and could end up with an judgement against me. Its still something I have to be careful of like

  2. This is a bit sad really and it’s true what you said; I mean even if there is a god I doubt he/she is so petty or insecure that a mortal’s words will worry him/her.

  3. It’s a bit laughable really isn’t it. In my opinion the only people that need to be concerned with the law are those in the public eye, i.e print media, advertisers, those on Tv. Your average joe soap on the street isn’t going to be pulled up in court for taking the Lords name in vain. What’s poor Tommy Tiernan going to do from now on!

    1. Joe Soap on the street won’t be in trouble on the street. It is if he posts on a blog, on a forum, or other public website is when Joe Soap should be worried.

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