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Dublin: 19 °C Friday 25 July, 2014

Another potential referendum, this time on the offence of blasphemy

The Convention on the Constitution want the offence replaced.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS four months to respond to a recommendation that the offence of blasphemy be removed from the Constitution and replaced with more general provision to prohibit the incitement to religious hatred.

The Convention of the Constitution today published a report on its meeting in November which voted against keeping the offence of blasphemy in the Constitution in its current wording.

The report recommends creating a new set of detailed laws to make the incitement of religious hatred illegal.

The meeting had heard from from academics and legal experts as well as interest groups such as Atheist Ireland and the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland before voting by 61 to 38 to remove the reference to blasphemy.

The recommendations of the report have now been formally submitted to the Houses of the Oireachtas according to chairman of the convention  Tom Arnold.

“I would like to take this opportunity to commend the members of the Convention for the commitment they showed to the discussion and I look forward to the response of the Government within four months,” Arnold said this morning.

This is the sixth report of the convention that has been published so far with three of the first five reports have already been debated in the Dáil.

As a result of the convention’s work, the Government has committed to holding three referendums, on the voting age, on the age of candidacy for Presidential candidates, and on same-sex marriage.

Read: Blasphemy! Convention to consider taking religious offence rule out of Constitution >

Read: Blasphemy offence should be replaced in the Constitution, says Convention >

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