Those who use so-called “hate speech” will soon be jailed for up to five years under new legislation published on Thursday.
Any individual found guilty of using “hate speech” in Ireland will soon find themselves facing up to five years in jail. The country’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, has been at the centre of the country’s push towards implementing effective “hate speech” legislation, with her department announcing on Thursday that the first draft of the new laws would soon enter the country’s parliament.
Under the rules as proposed, those found guilty of “any intentional or reckless communication or behaviour that is likely to incite violence or hatred against a person or persons because they are associated with a protected characteristic” would face up to five years in jail.
What’s more, any individual convicted of such an offence would be branded a “hate criminal”, a label which the minister says is designed to “follow an offender in court, in garda vetting, and so on”.
“[H]ate speech is not about free speech,” McEntee declared in a statement published by her department.
“Hate speech is designed to shut people down, to shut them up, to make them afraid to say who they are and to exclude and isolate them,” she continued. “There is nothing free about that, and there is, frankly, no place for it in our society.”