New bill corrodes democratic debate, say Toibin

The proposed ‘Hate Crime’ law is a threat to the democratic functioning of society, according to the leader of Aontu.

Speaking in Dáil Éireann last week, Peader Toibin urged Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, to rethink the bill.

“I like many others want a society where citizens engage respectfully, with empathy and with generosity with views or ideas that they disagree with. I believe that can be achieved culturally in society and by raising our children with respect. But this is a bill that takes away human rights”.

It reduces liberty and freedom for citizens to democratically express themselves. The so-called definitions in the Bill are so ill defined that they are wide open for misinterpretation and abuse. I and many others fear that it will inhibit the ability for honest democratic discourse and as a result weaken societies ability to grapple with real and significant challenges. Your Bill is a threat to the democratic function of our society”, he said.