Yesterday’s angry protest outside Leinster House is a good example of why hate crime legislation needs to be passed, Joe Brolly has said.
Demonstrators brought photos of prominent TDs and attached them to a mock gallows.
Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae also claimed an intern of his was “shoved” and had her mobile phone stolen.
Other TDs had to be escorted into Leinster House by Gardaí and Tánaiste Micheál Martin said protestors' behaviour was "unacceptable and irreprehensible".
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, barrister and podcaster Joe Brolly said there is far too much hate in modern Ireland.
“I know there’s one… Senator who is openly gay who has been mocked by some Senators outside the chamber and who has been put in fear by them,” he said.
“We see all the time - and particularly yesterday - this is a lesson that the hate laws need to be moved forward very, very quickly because civilised society simply cannot tolerate that.
“Once you let it proliferate, once you let it move out there, instead of calling it out all the time and saying, ‘Senator, what do you mean by that? What do you actually mean by that?’”
Hate crime legislation
If passed, the Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 will ban “incitement to violence or hatred against a person or a group of persons on account of certain characteristics”.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee has said the bill includes safeguards to protect freedom of speech and is needed because of a 30% increase in reported hate crime in recent years.
The bill is currently at its third stage before Seanad Éireann.
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