In the News: Ireland’s Blasphemy Law Finally Gone

Ireland no longer has a blasphemy law, Atheist Ireland, 2020-01-02.

Atheist Ireland

We start the new decade with the good news that Ireland no longer has the medieval crime of blasphemy in our laws. Over the Christmas period, President Michael D Higgins signed the Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Bill 2019, and it has accordingly become law. […]

Atheist Ireland has spent more than a decade lobbying for repeal of the blasphemy law with the Irish Government and Department of Justice, as well as at the United Nations, OSCE and the Council of Europe.

We had three tours of public meetings around Ireland about the need to repeal the blasphemy law, in 2009, 2012, and 2018. We led the public campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum in 2018. […]

So finally, after more than a decade of campaigning, we have removed the medieval crime of blasphemy from both our constitution and our statute laws. This means that:

  • Our laws can now protect people from harm, not protect ideas from criticism, and our media outlets no longer have to self censor themselves.
  • We are no longer breaching our international human rights obligations, as we have been told by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.
  • States that execute people for blasphemy can no longer cite the Irish law at the United Nations, to justify their repression of religious minorities.

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