Credit: Ogra Fianna Fáil

Ógra Fianna Fáil calls for McEntee’s hate speech bill to be “halted”

Ógra Fianna Fáil has called for the government’s hate speech bill to be “halted with immediate effect.”

The development came following a vote at the youth wing’s National Council in Sligo on July 21st.

“This National Council calls for the Hate Speech Bill to be halted with immediate effect in line with a number of our elected representatives,” the vote result read, on the basis of the bill’s “vague definition of hate.”

Speaking to Gript, an Ógra Fianna Fáil source explained the vote result.

“The legislation is divisive and vague in relation to the definition of the word hate, and will give rise to innumerable SLAPP suits and nuisance court cases,” the source said.

A SLAPP suit – or “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation” – is a lawsuit filed to intimidate, silence, or burden individuals or organisations exercising their right to free speech or engaging in public advocacy. SLAPP suits are often used as a tactic to deter critics and stifle public discourse.

The source continued: “At a time when the Minister for Justice can’t police our streets, why are we trying to police speech?”

The source claimed that a “serious re-evaluation is needed” before the law is passed, to ensure it is not “exploited” by those seeking to “intimidate people or groups with differing opinions.”

They added that “…free speech is a basic human right, and one that shouldn’t be taken or limited lightly.”

The news comes as this week Ógra Fianna Fáil called on Fine Gael Justice Minister Helen McEntee to resign amid rising crime rates.

At the end of July, Gript reported that Young Fine Gael voted almost unanimously to drop the hate speech bill “in its entirety,” arguing that the government should be focusing its attention on violent crime instead.

Last month Gript questioned Justice Minister Helen McEntee on the evidence for the public support for her bill, in a video which can be viewed below.




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