A Labour Party motion calling for theState to apologise to men who were convicted of engaging in consensual same-sex sexual acts prior to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in June 1993 has received government backing.
The historic motion will be debated in the Dáil & Seanad next Tuesday evening, in advance of the 25th anniversary of decriminalisation on the 24th June 2018.
The motion, which arises from Senator Ged Nash’s 'Convictions for Certain Sexual Offences (Apology and Exoneration) Bill 2016' , has been agreed with the Taoiseach and the Minister for Justice & Equality, and it is hoped that it will receive the support of all members of both Houses.
Senator Nash, who has being pushing for this overdue apology for. along time, told us: “This historic motion represents an important reckoning with our past. The State inherited draconian laws we applied over many decades to persecute and prosecute gay men merely for being who they were.
"It took until 1993 for Irish law makers to show the moral courage to banish these cruel, antiquated and inhumane laws from our statute books."
He explained: “Apart altogether from those who were convicted of offences that no longer exist, the chilling effect of having such harsh and discriminatory laws in place had a negative impact on progress towards equality for the LGBTI community.
“Incalculable harm and hurt was caused to countless thousands of citizens of this Republic who were deterred by those laws from being open and honest about their identity with themselves, their family and with society.
"This prevented citizens from engaging fully in civic and political life and deprived society of their full contribution. They were badly wronged by this country, and they and their families are owed an apology.
“I look forward to this powerful statement being made in both Houses of the Oireachtas next Tuesday and I am hopeful that support will be garnered from across the political spectrum.
“The Labour Party is continuing to work with government to identify ways in which convictions received by men for engaging in sexual activities which are no longer offences can be set aside or disregarded in a legally secure manner.
“As a country, we have made very significant progress on LGBT rights in recent years. However, we still have some way to go before we achieve full equality for LGBTI citizens in Ireland."
He concluded: “This motion also represents an opportunity for the Oireachtas to unite to affirm that Ireland should be a country where all LGBTI citizens are free to fully express their identities without fear, prejudice or discrimination and that we put global LGBTI rights at the very centre of our foreign policy.”
Things don't look good for the National Broadband Plan with the surprise news that Eir has decided to withdraw from the process leaving just eNet left as the sole bidder.Read More
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said that yesterday’s acknowledgement by the Taoiseach that rollout of the National Broadband Plan will be further delayed is a "major disappointment and signals a massive failure" by the government.Read More
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is being asked to provide reassurance that an organisation closely linked with the "secretive cult-like" Church of Scientology will not be facilitated in setting up operations in a rural village in Meath.Read More
It’s time for Leo Varadkar to intervene and bring clarity to the roll out of the National Broadband Plan, says Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley TD .Read More
There are a staggering 656 people waiting for a bed in hospital – that’s the highest number since records began, according to the latest stats from the Irish Nurses and Midwives revealRead More
Hot Press has learnt that independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar he should move to "immediately appoint" Josephine Fehilly, the current boss of the Policing Authority, as Secretary General of the Department of Justice.Read More
A former teacher and published author has been on hunger strike since 24th of October in an effort to receive a pension and to highlight her plight following accusations of being involved in the infamous Northern Bank robbery.Read More
The Arts Council today has welcomed a new government scheme to allow artists to gain access to social welfare supports.Read More
Having beaten Simon Coveney 60%-40% in the vote to be leader of Fine Gael, the TD from West Dublin will now step into Enda Kenny's shoes.Read More
The weekend's election results make bleak reading for the outgoing government, and while there's still numbers to be crunched, some are calling for a change. Could the young Dubliner be the change that we're looking for?Read More
The battle for equal rights, which Hot Press has proudly helped wage since the 1970s, has been won!Read More
The Minister for Health, Leo Varadker, today became the first ever Irish cabinet minister to openly state that he is gay.Read More
As the youngest member of the Fine Gael front-bench, Leo Varadker has a reputation for being forthright and abrasive. But it turns out that the 31-year-old doctor has a sensitive side too, as he discusses sex, politics, the loss of privacy and the boys club that is Dáil Éireann.Read More
In a highly revealing interview in the new issue of Hot Press, Fine Gael front-bencher Leo Varadkar also talks about Fianna Fail's "white lies", claims that Patrick Neary was deliberately appointed to be a "soft touch", and says that the IRA still exists, despite decommissioning.Read More