It’s official: We’ll have a referendum to remove blasphemy from the Constitution
According to The Journal, Irish voters will have be asked to vote on whether to remove the crime of blasphemy from the Constitution, it was announced this morning.
Junior Minister Aodhán Ó’Ríordáin told the Dáil:
“The Government accepts the main recommendation of the [Constitutional Convention], which is that a referendum should be held on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution.”
Article 40 of the Irish Constitution states that:
“The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”
Furthermore, Section 36 of the 2009 Defamation Act outlines a fine of up to €25,000 for anyone convicted of the offence.
The law defines blasphemy as publishing or saying something “grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matter held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion.”
There is an exception where the accused can prove literary, artistic or academic merit in what they said.
For more details please check The Journal