Hate crime legislation in Ireland
Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act of Ireland (1989) (excerpts related to hate crimes) (English)
Incitement to hatred / Dissemination of racist ideas
Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 (under review); prohibits the use of words, behaviour or the publication or distribution of material which is threatening, abusive or insulting and intended, or likely, to stir up hatred. Under the Act the following deeds aiming to stir up hatred are punishable: publishing or distributing written material; using words or behaviour or displaying written material; distributing, showing or playing a recording of visual images or sounds; broadcasting an item; preparing or possessing written material or recordings of visual images or sounds.
A person found guilty of an offence under the Act is liable to a fine or 6 months imprisonment or both, and on conviction on indictment a fine or imprisonment for up to 2 years.
The term “hate crime” is not generally used to describe racist, xenophobic or anti-Semitic incidents. The Act provides a definition of hatred in Section 1(1): “The Act interprets hatred to be hatred against a group of persons in the State or elsewhere on account of their race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins, membership of travelling community or sexual orientation”.
Legislation provided: Prohibition of incitement to hatred Act, 1989 Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989
Section 1 (1) – Interpretation – “hatred” means hatred against a group of persons in the State or elsewhere on account of their race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origins membership of the travelling community or sexual orientation.
Section 2 (1) – It shall be an offence for a person –
(a) to publish or distribute written material,
(b) to use words, behave or display written material-
(i) in any place other than inside a private residence, or
(ii) inside a private residence so that the words, behaviour or material are heard of seen by persons outside the residence or
(c) to distribute, show or play a recording of visual images or sounds, if the written material, words, behaviour, visual images or sounds, as the case may be, are threatening, abusive or insulting and are intended or, having regard to all the circumstances, are likely to stir up hatred.