“I was only doing my duty”

According to an Irish Times report, the Irish Minister for Justice, Dermot Ahern, “will propose to the Cabinet a constitutional amendment deleting the constitutional prohibition on blasphemy when the children’s rights amendment comes up”. Game over, then? [Hopefully… – Ed] Although there’s still the other jurisdiction to worry about… ANYhoo… Atheist Ireland welcomes the commitment and notes an earlier Sunday Times report.

Ahern, who was criticised for increasing the fine for blasphemy to €25,000 last year, said he never regarded the provision in the new Defamation Bill as anything more than a short-term solution. “There was a lot of nonsense about that blasphemy issue and people making me out to be a complete right-winger at the time,” he said. “There was an incredibly sophisticated campaign [against me], mainly on the internet. I was only doing my duty in relation to it, because clearly it is in the constitution. The attorney general said ‘there is this absolute, mandatory thing… it is an offence, punishable by law.” A final decision on a blasphemy referendum rests with the cabinet, but if Ahern remains justice minister after this month’s reshuffle, he is likely to propose that it be added to the autumn list. The government is already committed to referendums on children’s rights and establishing a permanent court of civil appeal.

Once more then, just for fun. [We’ll never shift those beards now… – Ed]

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  • joeCanuck

    Dammit. Will this mean I will no longer be able to shock my religious minded friends by my crude blasphemies?

  • I hope Aherne sticks to his guns on this one…

  • Rory Carr

    I must say that I am a bit disappointed as well, Joe. I was really looking forward to a few good blasphemy trials and thought that they might have provided the kind of courtroom hi-jinks that have been lost to us as a result of the spineless failure (sorry, slip of the old fingers there – I meant “perfectly reasonable decision”) to bring offending clergy and religious into the dock.

    But then the clergy have not been accused of offending poor, weak, harmless God who is in no position to look after Himself but great strapping, brutish children, some of them hulking teenagers who were running around all over the place tempting the bejasus out of the poor innocent clergy by flashing bits of arse through the holes and tears in the trousers that the Holy Brothers and Nuns had thoughtfully provided for the ungrateful little shites out of donation money that should rightfully have been used for drink and trips to the Galway races.

  • joeCanuck

    Chuckles, Rory. It’s the way you tell ’em. hehehehe

  • Greenflag

    John Cleese at his most manic shows the mindless underlay behind ‘middle eastern’ religions .
    Given the current tribulations of a certain Church in Ireland -Ahern could improve his re-election prospects by making blasphemy compulsory in our educational system as a subject in it’s own right;)

    And up yours too Jehovah , Allah , Yahweh, Mammon etc etc .