Ireland is "seriously deficient" in addressing hate crime, it's been revealed in a worrying new report.
The report recommends changes to legislation on incitement to hatred and sentencing, new procedures for investigating hate crimes and better mechanisms for reporting and recording of hate-motivated crimes.
The findings were made in a report entitled 'Lifecycle of a Hate Crime: Country Report for Ireland', which was published yesterday by the Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
The report has prompted Labour LGBT to reiterate its call for the introduction of hate crime legislation.
Commenting on the new report, Co-Chair of Labour LBGT Aoife Leahy said that “it’s not entirely surprising but nonetheless deeply disappointing", adding that "it's deeply concerning that transgender people are a particular target".
Aoife added: “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.”
Fianna Fáil TD for Equality, Immigration and Integration Fiona O’Loughlin TD has welcomed the publication of a report by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission on hate crime.
Deputy O’Loughlin said, “The details and recommendations contained in this report don’t come as any surprise to me.
"I have been highlighting the need for new laws to tackle hate crimes for some time now and have put forward proposals to achieve this.
"Similar legislation is already in place in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales. Ireland is behind the curve on this issue as a result of Government inaction.
Deputy O’Loughlin also said: “Minister Flanagan has stated that he will examine the contents of this report and will bring forward proposals to deal with hate crimes. However his record to date on this issue has been abysmal and he has ignored the proposals put forward by Fianna Fáil to tackle hate crimes.
"The ‘Criminal Justice (Aggravation by Prejudice) Bill’ that I brought before the Dáil seeks to legislate for hate crimes. It received cross party support yet the Government has been dragging its feet on allowing the Bill to progress through the Oireachtas.
“Minister Flanagan should be upfront with people and acknowledge that he has frustrated efforts to legislate against hate crimes. His recent statement makes it seem as if this is an issue that has only just come to his attention. That is far from the truth.
"I have been raising this issue with him and his predecessor for 18 months now. Despite this the Government has failed to show any leadership on this issue,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.
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