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:

    No people can more exactly interpret the inmost meaning of the present situation in Ireland than the American Negro. The scheme is simple. You knock a man down and then have him arrested for assault. You kill a man and then hang the corpse.
    —W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt)

    Sport and death are the two great socializing factors in Ireland ...
    Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973)

    Out of Ireland have we come,
    Great hatred, little room
    Maimed us at the start.
    I carry from my mother’s womb
    A fanatic’s heart.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)