O’Loughlin calls for greater awareness on hate speech and hate crimes following attack

Published on: 01 February 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality, Immigration and Integration, Fiona O’Loughlin, has said greater emphasises must be placed on hate speech and hate crimes.

Deputy O’Loughlin made the comments following an alleged homophobic attack which took place in Newbridge during the week.

“I have learned of an attack in Newbridge town during the week which appears to have been a hate attack crime against two young men, returning home after enjoying a day out in town.

“The young men involved sustained injuries to their face and were left in need of medical treatment in Tallaght Hospital. Ireland remains one of the only Western democracies without any specific legislation addressing hate crimes, relying instead on its wider criminal law system. The gap in legislation has been highlighted repeatedly by civil society groups, An Garda Síochana and legal practitioners.

“People should not be allowed commit hate speech and hate crimes and feel they can get away with it. The decision by An Garda Síochána to introduce a working definition of “hate crime” was a welcomed move but the Gardaí need to be supported in their efforts to tackle this issue and the most basic support they require is effective legislation through which perpetrators can be prosecuted,”

“I wish both young men who were injured during the attack a speedy recovery,” concluded Deputy Loughlin.