Greater powers to fight hate crimes needed

I have called for greater powers for authorities to prosecute perpetrators of hate crimes.

Ireland remains an outlier in the European Union in its absence of clear hate crime laws. I welcome the fact that the Minister for Justice is currently examining this situation, which has needed to be addressed.

We currently operate within a system where a motive of ‘hate’ will play a role in determining the sentence of a convicted individual, but without a specific hate crime law, sentencing can vary case to case and leave ambiguity in the legal system.

I believe that strengthening these laws will modernize our legislation in this field, something that has not been done since the 1989 Prohibition of Incitement of Hatred Act.

We must ensure that the legal system protects all citizens particularly in light of the fact that over the past 30 years, Ireland has seen demographic changes and the creation of a modern multicultural and diverse society.

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