Irish PM Calls for Law Criminalizing ‘Hate Speech’

Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is calling for legislation criminalizing “hate speech” following anti-immigration riots.

“We’ll modernize our laws against incitement to hatred and hatred in general – and that is more required than ever was the case before,” Varadkar said. “I think it’s now very obvious to anyone who might have doubted it that our incitement to hatred legislation is just not up to date, it’s just not up to date for the social media age. We need that legislation through, we need it through within a matter of weeks.”

Irish Senator Pauline O’Reilly acknowledged that the legislation restricts freedom, but she said the government is “restricting freedom, but we’re doing it for the common good.”

According to The Messenger, the hate speech bill would prosecute individuals who make “reckless” comments on social media that “incite violence or hatred against a person or a group of persons.”

Ireland’s current hate speech law defines “hatred” as “hatred against a person or a group of persons in the State or elsewhere on account of their protected characteristics or any one of those characteristics.”

Nate Hochman, staff writer at National Review, stated that the updated hate speech bill is “arguably the most radical legislation of its kind we’ve seen in the West.”

“It criminalizes the mere possession of materials that are ‘likely to incite violence or hatred’ — books, videos, or even memes on your phone,” he continued, sharing an image of the legislation.