Holocaust denial may become an offence in the Republic of Ireland under new legislation

New laws on hate speech could be introduced around Easter 2021 


The Republic of Ireland may outlaw speech that denies or trivialises the Holocaust, as part of new legislation on hate crime. 

According to the Irish Times, the country’s Department of Justice is examining the introduction of legislation, similar to that in other European countries such as France and Germany, with the view to presenting the Irish Cabinet with new laws around Easter 2021. 

Whilst genocide denial was not examined in detail by officials during a consultation process, the Times reported, and the issue is thought not to be a major one in Ireland, officials believe there is a general international principle that modern hate laws should include protections against genocide denial. 

The new law would mean denying any genocide in a situation in which such action could incite hate would become criminal. 

News of the new law follows a series of recommendations on hate speech online, which were launched by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee yesterday. 

At that event, Ms McEntee is reported saying that the proposed laws would not be about “catching people out” who misspeak, but would target those who “intentionally or recklessly” incite hatred. 

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