Statement by Minister Flanagan on hate crime legislation
I very much welcome the report on hate crime published today by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
Hate motivation for crime results in vulnerable groups and individuals being targeted simply for who they are. That is not acceptable to me or the Government, and I know that it is not acceptable to the Irish people.
This report on hate crime is a hugely important piece of research, and makes a series of recommendations on how our criminal justice system can do better in combatting hatred.
These recommendations include changes to legislation on incitement to hatred and sentencing, better reporting and recording of hate-motivated crimes, enhanced procedures for the investigation of such crimes, and training and guidelines for prosecutors. They are a very valuable contribution to the development of improved policy and procedures in this important area.
The Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 is already being reviewed by my Department and this report will of course feed into that process.
More generally, I am making arrangements for this report and its recommendations to be urgently examined by my Department, in consultation with all of the relevant agencies, including of course the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, with the aim of bringing forward proposals to address the findings of the report.