We must vote YES to remove blasphemy from Constitution, says Galway TD

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Galway Daily vote yes news Landslide victory for Yes vote

People across Galway are being urged to vote yes to remove the crime of blasphemy from our Constitution on Friday 26 October – the same day as the Presidential election.

East Galway’s Minister Ciaran Cannon said that Ireland is a modern, democratic republic and that the crime of blasphemy has no place in Bunreacht na hÉireann.

Polls suggest that people are strongly in favour of a yes vote, but despite the predicted landslide victory for the yes side, the Minister is urging people not to be complacent.

“Freedom of belief and expression are important values in a democratic society,” he said.

“As my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality has said, criminalising blasphemy is not consistent with these values.

“Ireland is a country that respects religious diversity and religious freedom at home and around the world. We speak out when other countries sentence ‘blasphemers’ to death, violent punishment or imprisonment.

“However our own outdated law here means a person could be fined up to €25,000 if they say or publish something intending to cause outrage, or that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of that religion.

“This dates back to 1937 when blasphemy was included as a crime in our Constitution. It was defined in law in 2009 by then Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, who said at the time he felt he had to put it on the statue books due to it being in the Constitution.

“However given the choice at that time he said he would have preferred a referendum to remove blasphemy from the Constitution. We now have that chance.

“When Ireland speaks out on human rights issues around the world, our voice will be stronger if we remove blasphemy from our own Constitution. Blasphemy has no place in the modern Constitution of any democratic society.”