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Ireland

  • October 2018: Referendum to change Irish constitution with regard to blasphemy

On 26th October 2018, a referendum will take place with regard to blasphemy. The amendment being put before the people involves removing the single reference to blasphemy in Article 40.6.1 of the Constitution. To date, this referendum has motivated relatively little public debate. The referendum vote will coincide with the presidential election vote.

Recently, the Irish Catholic bishops addressed this issue in their autumn general meeting, where they noted that the constitutional reference to blasphemy was “largely obsolete” while also urging respect for freedom of religious expression. In addition, the issue was the subject of deliberation by the Irish Council of Churches/Irish Inter-Church Meeting.

For more detail, see Irish Catholic Bishop’s Conference, Irish Churches, Referendum Commission.

  • July 2016: Advocacy group calls for end to alleged religion-based discrimination in Irish school system

In July 2016, advocacy group Education Equality called for an end to alleged religion-based discrimination in the Irish school system, a call made as part of a protest organised by the group in Dublin. This issue brings to the fore two competing values – protecting the religious freedom of certain religious groups on the one hand, and ensuring equal treatment of religious and non-religious individuals and groups on the other.

This call takes place against the backdrop of growing religious diversity and increasing numbers of people who self-identify as non-religious/secular.

For more detail, see Raidió Teilifís Éireann.

D 19 October 2018    ABrian Conway

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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