Ireland’s forthcoming anti-hate-speech bill must be “halted with immediate effect”, the youth wing of one of the country’s ruling parties stated.
Ógra Fianna Fáil – the youth branch of the party headed up by Deputy Prime Minister Micheál Martin – has now joined its counterparts in its main rival and coalition partner Fine Gael in calling for the proposed law to be axed.
“This National Council calls for the Hate Speech Bill to be halted with immediate effect in line with a number of our elected representatives,” Ógra Fianna has reportedly announced.
Representatives raised particular fears regarding the “vague definition of ‘hate’” in the proposed legislation, warning that it could give rise to “innumerable” spurious lawsuits against members of the public.
“The legislation is divisive and vague in relation to the definition of the word ‘hate’,” one Ógra Fianna official said.
“At a time when the Minister for Justice can’t police our streets, why are we trying to police speech?”
Speaking to Brussels Signal, civil rights organisation Free Speech Ireland (FSI) welcomed the move, praising both youth wings for “standing up for freedom of expression”.
“The two main parties in the government coalition have now seen their respective youth wings reject the hate-speech legislation brought forward by one of their own ministers,” a spokesman for FSI stated.
“This legislation was an attempt to play to younger voters who they assumed to be ‘woke’,” he added, arguing that the negative response shows that the Irish Government has “miscalculated in what they think young people want”.
Ógra Fianna Fáil’s denunciation of the legislation follows calls from the party for the island’s current justice minister Helen McEntee to resign.
A champion of the hate-speech bill, McEntee has come under heavy criticism amid spiking crime figures in the Irish capital Dublin, which has seen numerous random attacks on tourists and migrants over recent months.
Violence in the city is now at such a level that foreign embassies in Ireland have issued warnings to their citizens, with the US Government even telling Americans to “keep a low profile” while in the European Union country.