Senator Fiona O’Loughlin welcomes new legislation to combat hate crime and hate speech

Published on: 27 October 2022

Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has welcomed new legislation to combat hate crime and hate speech. 


The new legislation will criminalise any intentional or reckless communication or behaviour that is likely to incite violence or hatred against a person or persons because they are associated with a protected characteristic. The penalty for this offence will be up to five years imprisonment


It will also create new, aggravated forms of certain existing criminal offences, where those offences are motivated by hatred of a protected characteristic. These will carry an enhanced penalty and the criminal record will clearly state that the offence was a hate crime.

The Kildare Senator said, “I’m delighted to see this new legislation which will combat hate crime and hate speech and is expected to become law by the end of the year. 

“I’ve twice introduced bills in the past to combat hate crime, in the Dáil in 2016 and in the Seanad in 2020. 

"It’s great to finally see this now coming close to being law and it will give recourse through the law to victims of any homophobia, racism or other hate crimes. 

“Largely Ireland is a very tolerant place however this legislation will bring the small minority to justice who take part in this behaviour towards others.”