Irish Govt Wants to Criminalise Sharing, Retweeting ‘Hate’ Posts

Man typing on a laptop computer. Science Photo Library / ABO
Science Photo Library/ABO/AFP

The Irish government has proposed making it a crime to share ‘hate’ comments on social media platforms even if someone else wrote of them.

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, announced the new proposals this week, which could see retweeting or reposting ‘hate’ speech comments a criminal offence.

According to a report from the Irish Times, the new legislation will repeal the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 which previously dealt with hate crimes but has been deemed to not be robust enough.

The paper adds that the new bill will also expand the language under the hate crime laws to include those who target transgender and disabled people. Previous legislation had covered hatred against religious and ethnic minorities, migrants, and homosexuals.

The new proposed legislation will also broaden the scope of hate speech to include language that does not have to be directly threatening.

Certain exemptions will be granted under the new law to those engaged in art, academia, and public debates, supposedly.

“I am determined to tackle these crimes and to ensure that those who seek to divide our communities and spread hatred and fear are dealt with effectively by our criminal justice system,” Justice Minister McEntee said.

In 2018, residents of the small Irish town of Lisdoonvarna had their population increased by around a third due to the establishment of a migrant centre, and it was claimed that locals were too afraid of being branded racists to speak out about any anxieties they may have.

Earlier this year, the Irish government clamped down on free speech for pro-life activists by banning them from holding demonstrations outside of abortion clinics and setting up “exclusion zones”.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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