Blasphemous matter defined

BLASPHEMOUS libel was introduced in an amendment to the existing Defamation Bill, by inserting the line: “A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €25,000.”

“Blasphemous matter” is defined as anything “that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.”

Under the new laws, a garda can enter, using force if needed, any premises where they believe blasphemous material is held.

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