Hate speech on the internet may yet bring democracy to its knees

A mourner outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Monday, March 18, 2019. Picture: Vincent Yu/AP.

Why write about hate? St Patrick’s Day is a time of celebration for all of us. My grandchildren are proud to march, even in the coldest of weather, and it means a lot to them and their local community, writes Fergus Finlay.

All over the country, and increasingly all over the world, Irishness has become a positive symbol.

Of course, that’s not to suggest that we’re perfect. We have a mass of social problems, which we’re failing to fix. We don’t always make the right choices. It’s not always a perfect place to be a child, or to be old, or to be disabled. It’s certainly not a perfect place for thousands of families who have no home to call their own.

But Ireland remains a hopeful place. Perhaps it’s worth remembering among the criticism — and, I know, I do my fair share of criticising — that there was a time in Ireland when hate killed people, and did it routinely.

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