Freedom of Speech By Country - Europe - European Union - Ireland

Ireland

See also: Censorship in the Republic of Ireland

Freedom of speech is protected by Article 40.6.1 of the Irish constitution. However the article qualifies this right, providing that it may not be used to undermine "public order or morality or the authority of the State". Furthermore, the constitution explicitly requires that the publication of "blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter" be a criminal offence, leading the government to pass a new blasphemy law on 8 July 2009.

The scope of the protection afforded by this Article has been interpreted restrictively by the judiciary, largely as a result of the wording of the Article, which qualifies the right before articulating it. Indeed, until an authoritative pronouncement on the issue by the Supreme Court, many believed that the protection was restricted to "convictions and opinions" and, as a result, a separate right to communicate was, by necessity, implied into Article 40.3.2. This judicial conservatism is at variance with the concept of speech as a democratic imperative. This, albeit trite, justification for free speech has underpinned the liberal, progressive interpretation of the First Amendment by the United States Supreme Court.

Under the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003, all of the rights afforded by the European Convention form an integral part of the Republic of Ireland's laws. The act is, however, subordinate to the constitution.

Read more about this topic:  Freedom Of Speech By Country, Europe, European Union

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Famous quotes containing the word ireland:

    It is often said that in Ireland there is an excess of genius unsustained by talent; but there is talent in the tongues.
    —V.S. (Victor Sawdon)

    The tragedy of Northern Ireland is that it is now a society in which the dead console the living.
    Jack Holland (b. 1947)

    Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations.... They think that they have pacified Ireland. They think that they have purchased half of us and intimidated the other half. They think that they have foreseen everything, think they have provided against everything; but the fools, the fools, the fools, they have left us our Fenian dead, and while Ireland holds these graves Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.
    Patrick Henry Pearse (1879–1916)