The Irish authorities intend in October to hold a referendum on the exclusion from the Constitution of the concept of blasphemy as a criminal act
On Tuesday, June 11, announced Irish Minister for justice and equality Charlie Flanagan. According to him, the referendum will be an important step from the point of view of the international reputation of Ireland
“Eliminating this provision from our Constitution, we can send a powerful message to the world that anti-blasphemy laws do not reflect Irish values and that we do not believe that such laws must exist,” — said the Minister.
The Irish government has approved the drafting of a law on the exclusion of blasphemy as a crime, from the fundamental law of the country. This step has been taken in the course of the current leadership in the direction of constitutional reforms. The popular vote may be held on the same day as the presidential elections.
Last month in Ireland held a historic referendum on the legalization of women’s abortions. More than two thirds of people in the country voted for the abolition of the ban on abortion.
In 2014 holding then a post of the representative of the government of Ireland on human rights Aodhan O Riordan announced plans of the government to hold a referendum on the decriminalization of blasphemy. On a specific date was not reported.
In the five years before the blasphemy law has undergone in the country of a significant change. Then a prison sentence for this crime was replaced with a fine of 25 thousand euros. The law came into force on 1 January 2010. However, blasphemy was not prosecuted since the XIX century.
The influence of the Roman Catholic Church in the country was greatly weakened after a series of scandals involving sexual crimes of the clergy against children