Credit: Niall Boylan (The Niall Boylan Podcast) via screenshot

WATCH: Could ‘Billboard Chris’ have been prosecuted under Ireland’s new Hate Speech laws?

Canadian activist ‘Billboard Chris’ caused a stir over the weekend when he spent two days on Grafton Street in Dublin bringing his message to the Irish public.

The father of two appeared on The Niall Boylan podcast on Saturday night following an animated debate with a garda – which has now been viewed close to 5 million times. Chris was told by the garda that his message – a warning against puberty blockers being given to children as part of sex-change therapy – could be seen as “offensive” and therefore may be in breach of section 7 of the Criminal Justice Act.

“The sign on my front usually says ‘children cannot consent to puberty blockers’ and on my back, I have my definition of a dad, which is ‘a human male who protects his kids from gender ideology’ – because we have an epidemic of hundreds of thousands of children across the West who have now been led to believe that they were born in the wrong body and that they can only find true happiness by physically transitioning with chemical castration drugs, opposite sex hormones, and even surgeries are being done on children in many different jurisdictions,” Chris explained to Boylan on his podcast following the incident. 

“This is child abuse, it’s madness,” he claimed. “The body-positive message we should be sending is that our kids are beautiful just the way they are – no drugs or scalpels needed.”

On puberty blockers, host Niall Boylan pointed out that the fact such treatments can cause temporary and even permanent infertility is acknowledged by the National Health Service (NHS).


He brought up Billboard Chris’s treatment by gardai, with one officer having brought up “Section 7 of the Criminal Justice Act, the Public Order Act 1994”.  (The Garda appears to have misspoken – that section of the Public Order Act outlaws obscene material.)

He asked fellow guest on the podcast, Meath Senator Sharon Keoghan, if she thought this was appropriate. 

Senator Keoghan said she did not believe the officer had quoted the law correctly. However, she said that under new hate speech legislation – which has already been voted through the Dail – such messaging could potentially be policed.

“I’ve been following Chris for the last couple of years,” she told the programme. “And I don’t think he’s ever been stopped by any police in any state with regard to the messaging that he has on his board.”

“They are certainly not offensive – they are stating facts. I suppose now with the new Hate Speech legislation that is going to come in, you cannot police how people are going to feel when they see that particular board, and that particular message. So this is where our free speech laws are going, where our hate speech laws are going, so in the future, Chris could be prosecuted under the new Hate Speech legislation,” she said.


‘Billboard Chris’ agreed that he viewed the interaction in the context of the new Hate Speech legislation.

“You’re telling me that I’m causing other people to be offended. And I said to [the garda] at one point, ‘Who’s problem is it if they are going to be offended? Is it their problem or is it my problem?’ and in truth, it’s their problem. They’re choosing to take offence,” he told the programme. 

“They could just look at the sign and see me walking down the street and think nothing of it, but we have to stop giving all of these cry babies the upper hand here, because, as I said to him, I could have a sign that says, ‘I love Ireland’ and someone might take offence to that. Would that be an arrestable offence?”

Niall Boylan referred to the international pushback which has resulted from Ireland’s proposed Hate Speech laws – with tweets retweeted by Elon Musk and Donald Trump Jr – suggesting that Ireland was an embarrassment on the international stage when it came to such laws.


Proposed Hate Speech legislation was voted through by 110 members of the Dail – with only 14 TDs voting against it. It now proceeds to the Seanad.

Despite its passage through the Dail, broadcaster Niall Boylan said he doubted that many of the politicians who voted for the legislation really knew what they were voting for.

“I did an interview with one or two, and they hadn’t actually read all of the legislation,” he said.

“Is it going to go through?” he asked Sharon Keoghan – who said she believed it would go through the Seanad, despite strong opposition from the public and groups including Free Speech Ireland.

Such activism “hasn’t worked” in terms of getting Dail politicians engaged, she said – something she described as a shame.

“I cannot believe that some of the TDs voted for this. I don’t actually think they knew what they were voting for, and the significance of this piece of legislation – not just to people on the right, but people on the left,” she said.

Niall Boylan reiterated that opposition to the law has been found on both sides of the political spectrum – rooted in the fact that there is no definition of the word ‘hate’ in the law.

“I’m hoping that the Seanad is giving due process to debate these particular issues,” she said. “I hope the legislation is not going to be guillotined in any way. The fact that they have disrespected the public consultation and they have not listened to what the people have wanted, I’m sure that they’re going to allow the upper house to debate this in a very democratic way – and that’s what I would expect,” the Senator said.

She was asked whether she believed the law was constitutionally sound.

“No, I don’t. I absolutely don’t, but I think Ireland has tried to be, I suppose, the leader, in many aspects in relation to getting legislation through which shows them to be the good boys of Europe and the good boys of the West, which shows that they can work their people and get their people to do what they want.”

Niall Boylan agreed that in a race to motor ahead, Irish politicians were “turning people against each other” on a range of issues. 

“It’s the government’s decisions and bad policies which are turning people against each other,” the broadcaster said. 

While messages deemed ‘offensive’ could be the target of prosecution, ‘Billboard Chris’ – who continues his international tour in the UK – insisted he had massive support from the Irish public. He also insists his message is one founded in truth.

The father of two outlined his opposition to puberty blockers, emphasising that the whole point was to stop development.

“Puberty blockers are immensely harmful. First of all, they stop puberty. That’s harmful. These boys’ penises will not grow, these girls’ breasts won’t grow, and girls’ hips won’t expand. It’s causing bone demineralisation. There’s a host of other problems.”

In Canada, a conversion therapy law which was passed means that parents have no rights to stop the transition of their own child – a fear which parents share in Ireland.

“It’s totally fine to convince them that they’re the opposite sex and turn them into a lifelong pharmaceutical patient, but if you want to help them feel comfortable as they are, in truth, that’s now considered conversion therapy.”

Sharon Keogan agreed with the need for discussion around puberty blockers, with the Senator referring to the Tavistock scandal – which involved Irish children being sent to the disgraced gender clinic in relation to puberty blockers, as laid out in the Cass review.

“We need to teach children to embrace the body that they are born in, and to love the body that they are born in,” the Independent Senator said.

“Taking a twelve year-old and putting them on what could be a life-changing drug is something we have to take very seriously,” Niall Boylan agreed.

You can listen to the programme with Billboard Chris and Sharon Keoghan in full here.

Taking to his Twitter to share the interview, long-time radio host Niall Boylan described the Garda’s treatment of BillBoard Chris as “harassment” – adding that the way the law had been applied in the situation showed how “ludicrous” impending Hate Speech laws could be.

“This Garda is completely incorrect and @BillboardChris holding a billboard that “some people might find offensive” is not illegal under “section 7 of the criminal justice act”. This is nothing more than harassment,” he said.

“This shows how ludicrous the impending new proposed Hate Speech Laws could be if Garda are allowed control opinions. The Garda has no right to ask him to leave based on the evidence he has. He has committed no crime and the Garda has no right to speak to him in that manner.”

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