AHERN DEFENDS DECISION NOT TO HAVE A REFERENDUM ON BLASPHEMY LAW

The former Justice Minister who brought in Ireland’s blasphemy law has spoken about why he didn’t put it to a referendum.

Dermot Ahern was in office when the 2009 Defamation Act was completed, and he’s been speaking after it emerged Gardai are looking into a complaint against Stephen Fry over comments he made about God on RTE.

Mr Ahern says the constitution requires the law be in place, but he framed his version in a way that would make it virtually impossible to take a prosecution.

He says he made a ‘judgement call’ that a referendum – which could have scrapped the law – wouldn’t be a popular choice, in the middle of the economic crash.

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