New proposed legislation to govern hate speech and crime will not be enforceable according to a local TD.
Longford/Westmeath Sinn Fein TD Sorca Clarke says major work is needed to save the bill that's currently being discussed in the Dáil.
The Criminal Justice Bill 2022 proposes to legislate for hate crimes by creating new, aggravated forms of existing criminal offences motivated by prejudiced or hate.
Deputy Clarke has branded the terminology in the bill as sloppy and not well thought out, with significant clarification needed for the legislation to be effective in implementation.
Speaking in the chamber yesterday, the Sinn Fein deputy said it's vital that the bill is salvaged:
"It's sub-standard, it's even below the standard as what's classed as 'hatred' on the Garda Siochána's own website. And because of this lack of clarity, this bill will be ineffective. It's unenforceable and will place an unrealistic expectation on the Gardaí and the courts service".
Also speaking on the matter in the Dail yesterday, Fiana Fáil's Joe Flaherty praised Minister Helen McEntee for bringing forward the Bill.
The Longford/Westmeath TD stated hate speech has become prevalent on social media and action must be taken:
"The advent of social media has made hate crime anad verbal much easier to perpetrate. It's often done under the obvious cover of darkness but behind a keyboard, often with anonymous accounts and thats a piece of work I know you're working on Minister to try to come to terms with it".