Blasphemy referendum set to take place in October

13 Juin, 2018, 17:58 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The Government has approved plans for a referendum on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution

The referendum is likely to be held on the same day as the presidential election, later this year.

"In terms of Ireland's global reputation, this is an important step", said justice minister Charlie Flanagan in a statement.

"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".

"I am pleased to announce that the Government today agreed to my proposal to hold a Referendum to remove the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution", Mr Flanagan said in a statement today.

However, in 2015, Irish authorities launched an investigation under blasphemy laws into English comedian and actor Stephen Fry.

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Mr Fry's comments were reported to the Gardai by a man who claimed to be doing his "civic duty", saying they breached the Defamation Act. Gardai were unable to find a substantial number of outraged people'. Then in 2009, the nation introduced another law prohibiting the "publishing or uttering [of] matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters sacred by any religion".

In Ireland, blasphemy against Christianity is prohibited by the constitution and carries a maximum fine of €25,000.

The government has approved the preparation of a bill to remove the law as part of a commitment to reforms.

There had been talks of a referendum on the woman's place in the home, but nothing has been confirmed on that as of yet.

Known as the "woman in the home" clause, it has been criticised for its sexist language by Irish politicians and activists.

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