Irish Green Party member says bill 'restricting freedom' is for 'the common good'

Irish Green Party Senator Pauline O'Reilly recently defended her government's hate speech bill by suggesting that it is necessary to restrict people's freedoms by censoring gender-related speech that could make some feel "insecure" or uncomfortable.

She said: "When you think about [it], all legislation is about the restriction of freedom. That's exactly what we're doing here. We are restricting freedom, but we're doing it for the common good."

"You will see throughout our Constitution, yes, you have rights, [but] they are restricted for the common good. Everything needs to be balanced. And if your views on other people's identities go to make their lives unsafe, insecure, and cause them such deep discomfort that they cannot live in peace, then I believe that it is our job as legislators to restrict those freedoms for the common good."

The bill in question is The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offenses) Act 2022, which is an update to a 1989 law. The Catholic News Agency reported that the country's Department of Justice could consider the 1989 iteration of the law "ineffective," citing that "new technological developments and newly prominent minorities such as people of different races and religions, persons with disabilities, and those who identify as LGBTQ."

The bill states: "Hate speech is designed to shut people down, to shut them up, to make them afraid to say who they are and to exclude and isolate them. There is nothing free about that, and there is, frankly, no place for it in our society.”

However, this sentiment runs counter to other prominent voices throughout Britain, including Kathleen Stock.

Stock, who was a university professor at Sussex before being bullied out by trans activists, recently spoke about the "right to offend." She stated that it was imperative for people to retain the right to offend, though the act of offending is not always called for.

Image: Title: Irish Legislator


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