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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021

Up to 150 homosexuality convictions could be overturned under Government proposals

Last month, the Government apologised to men historically convicted of engaging in consensual same-sex activity.

Participants in last month's Gay Pride parade festival in Smithfield, Dublin
Participants in last month's Gay Pride parade festival in Smithfield, Dublin
Image: Sam Boal

150 MEN HISTORICALLY convicted of homosexuality could have their criminal records overturned, the Government has revealed.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan announced the figure yesterday as he briefed Cabinet colleagues on legislative measures to overturn the historic convictions.

It follows an apology last month from the Government to men convicted of engaging in consensual same-sex activity, before homosexuality was decriminalised in 1993.

Flanagan revealed that the 150 cases in question were a preliminary figure, retrieved from the Garda’s PULSE system, and date from 1944 to 1993.

He also said each case would be looked at on an individual basis, following legal advice based on a precedent set in England and Wales, where thousands of men were posthumously pardoned by the government in 2017.

The Minister has asked Gardaí to review the men’s case files and to report on the availability and quality of them within three months.

Last month marked 25 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland, where an average of 13 men a year were jailed for same-sex offences between 1940 and 1978.

Addressing the Dáil to apologise to those convicted, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar thanked activists who “helped change minds and change laws” down the years.

With additional reporting from Christina Finn.

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