Ireland Rushes to Crush Free Speech After Stabbing of Multiple Children in Dublin Caused Rioting

ireland hate speech law
Screenshot YouTube : NBC News

The Irish government is doubling down on their attempt to push through a ‘hate speech law’ geared at social media users and meme makers. Since this summer, the law has been up for discussion, with Irish legislators claiming that restricting freedom is normal and necessary for the “common good.”

These efforts have intensified since the recent stabbing of multiple children by a man alleged to be an immigrant, which caused rioting and nationalist sentiment among some Irish.

Our Western friends across the pond’s embrace of targeting their own citizens’ ability to criticize their governments should serve as a warning for all freedom-loving Americans. Because what shows up in European politics is generally either bound to make its way across the pond or a brainchild of left-wing American elites hoping to test drive their harmful policies over there before implementing them over here.

The Common Good

The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 would criminalize “incitement or hatred against” people who have been deemed to have “protected characteristics.” The protected characteristic proposed by this legislation includes national or ethnic origins.

Also, it includes transgender or those with a “gender other than those of male and female.” The law includes as part of the list of illegal offenses:

“…condoning, denying or grossly trivialising genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace.”

This line opens up the possibility of a citizen who questions the validity of reporting on the war in Ukraine and Israel, or anywhere for that matter, as breaking this hate speech law. Even further, this line makes something as innocuous as lamenting the deaths of innocents in these wars, which there always are, as possibly trivializing the original war crimes that kicked off said conflict as against the law.

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Earlier this summer, Irish Senator Pauline O’Reilly explained the need for this law:

“When one thinks about it, all law and all legislation is about the restriction of freedom. This is exactly what we are doing here. We are restricting freedom, but we are doing it for the common good.”

Who’s common good is the Irish Senator trying to protect?

Forget the Micks and Paddies

The fever pitch to strangle free speech comes after riots in Dublin.

Instead of diving into the root cause that enraged so many of his countrymen, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the riots proved that:

“…we need that legislation through and we need it through in a matter of weeks.”

Prime Minister Varadkar went on to say:

“…it’s not just the platforms who have a responsibility here, and they do. There’s also the individuals who post messages and images online that stir up hatred and violence, and we need to be able to use laws to go after them individually as well.”

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Let’s focus a bit on the Prime Minister’s wording: “…we need to be able to use laws to go after them individually as well.” The “them” he is referring to is his Irish countrymen. The ones who express their opinions.

There is no focus on the mysterious, still-hidden perpetrator who committed the heinous crime that kicked off the unrest in his country—just a plea to make it easier to legally go after native Irishmen and women.

This makes me uncomfortable

When Senator O’Reilly first advocated for this hate speech law, she said:

“If a person’s views on other people’s identities make their lives unsafe and insecure, and cause them such deep discomfort that they cannot live in peace, our job as legislators is to restrict those freedoms for the common good.”

The fact that this Irish Senator and the Prime Minister believe their job is to restrict freedoms versus protecting freedoms is alarming in and of itself. However, what defines discomfort is dangerously vague and leads to even more disturbing possibilities.

According to text from the bill, it can be an offense to prepare or possess:

“…material likely to incite violence or hatred against persons on account of their protected characteristics.”

How does one measure the likelihood of subsequent violence or hate from content that may or may not even be published on a social media site?

Mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor is under police investigation for this situation due to his critical comments on Ireland’s open borders. Borders that are so open that almost 20% of the population of Ireland is foreign-born.

The “common good” doesn’t seem to be the common Irish good, but the common immigrant’s good, which is really the common elite’s good when one digs deep enough.

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson