The Government has confirmed the historic convictions for consensual sexual activity between men will be disregarded.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee have today confirmed that Government will legislate to disregard the decades-old convictions.
At least 941 Irish men were convicted of “homosexual acts” until it was decriminalised in 1993 by the European Court of Human Rights following a campaign by Senator David Norris.
The new measures were announced at a meeting with LGBTQI+ groups chaired by the Taoiseach in Government Buildings today.
The drop comes following a recommendation from the final report of a Working Group set up to examine the convictions.
The report contains 95 recommendations regarding a scheme to enable the dropping of all criminal records.
'A proud, progressive and modern State'
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said Ireland has become a “proud, progressive and modern State”, and the new legislation reflects this.
“We are not naive to think that LGBTQI+ people don’t continue to face significant barriers to full participation in public life,” he said.
“The Irish Government is committed to the promotion and protection of LGBTQI+ rights and we will work to better the lives of all in the Community.”
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said Ireland has become more progressive, but people still feel “the hurt and the stigma created by the laws that criminalised consensual sexual activity between men”.
“While we cannot undo the hurt inflicted on people who were discriminated against for simply being themselves," she said. "I do hope that today’s report brings us closer to something that can address the harm done to generations of gay and bisexual men.”
The Government has also announced they will introduce legislation to criminalise conversion therapy and all advertising of it in Ireland.
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth Roderic O’Gorman said attempting to “convert” someone’s sexual or gender identity is a “cruel process”.
“The Government is committed to banning this outdated practice, and I look forward to bringing legislation through the Oireachtas shortly,” he said.