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Hate Speech Bill a Government ‘gagging order’, says TD

Independent TD for Laois Offaly, Carol Nolan, has launched a scathing assessment of the Hate Speech Bill that is being championed by the Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee.

“It is my firm view that this Bill is nothing but the product of endless insider lobbying by NGO’s and interest groups who are determined to create a chilling effect around any potential threat to the official narrative on a range of socially contentious issues,” said Deputy Nolan.

“Indeed, to my mind it is nothing short of a ministerial muzzle slapped around the mouths of those who won’t go along with the consensus. The NGO’s have found their willing allies in Government, and they are using that power with unembarrassed gusto.”

“It reflects an elite instinct to shut people up, not just after, but before they dare to challenge the received wisdom and political correctness of the liberal worldview.”

“It is a stifling and unnecessary piece of legislation that seeks to ascribe unprovable motivations to people’s actions and speech in a manner that is truly dystopian.”

She also expressed skepticism of the supposed protections for religious speech. “I would also say that I am in no way assured that protected characteristics such as religion or religious discourse will be adequately protected.”

“I say that we are clearly moving in a direction whereby unless my religion reflects your liberal consensus on what that religion should be about, then it won’t be protected from legal attack.”