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Ireland Lacking In Hate Crime Legislation Amid Damning Findings

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A damning report on hate crime in Ireland is being ‘urgently reviewed’ by the Justice Department.

The report from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission says Ireland has one of the EU’s highest rates of hate crime against people of African descent and transgender people.

It also says Ireland doesn’t have adequate hate crime laws. Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says he wants to address the findings with new proposals, and says the current legislation is already being looked at.

“Hate motivation for crime results in vulnerable groups and individuals being targeted simply for who they are,” he said.

“That is not acceptable to me or the Government, and I know that it is not acceptable to the Irish people.”

ICCL Executive Director Liam Herrick said the Government has failed to bring forward legislation….

“This is an Irish report but it is part of a wider European project which analyses how hate crime is reported and recorded across Europe,” he said.

“What we find in the Irish study is that hate crime – which is not defined in Irish law – is not recorded or reported in a systematic fashion.

“We really have a very underdeveloped response to what is a serious problem in society.”

According to Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, Ireland has a responsibility to ensure that hate crime is not tolerated in society.

”Hate Crime has a real-world, oppressive and damaging effect on those who fall victim to it, Hate Crime can cause people to withdraw from society and avoid expressing their identity.”

Labour LGBT has reiterated its call for the introduction of hate crime legislation following a report published today where Ireland is shown to be seriously deficient in addressing hate crime.

Co-Chair of Labour LBGT Aoife Leahy commented on the matter:

“It’s not entirely surprising but nonetheless deeply disappointing to see that Ireland is shown to be seriously deficient in addressing hate crime as shown in the report The Lifecycle of a Hate Crime: Country Report for Ireland published by the Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission. It’s deeply concerning that transgender people are a particular target.

“For many years Labour LGBT has been calling for legislation to address hate crimes in Ireland, and we stand strongly with the Irish Council for Civil Liberties on this.

“Directing intentional harm upon members of the LGBT community and other minorities is an extremely serious matter and should be treated as such.

“We have come so far in Ireland in recent years with the introduction of Marriage Equality, the Gender Recognition Act and the decisive vote of the people to repeal the Eighth Amendment. It’s not too much to ask for that those who inflict harm on minorities be held to account and we are asking the government to set about drafting this legislation immediately.”