|Author (Person)||Zhang, Yudan|
Republic of Ireland held a referendum on 26 October on a clause in the country’s constitution that makes blasphemy a criminal act.
It turned out that voters have overwhelmingly supported the proposal to remove blasphemy with 64.85% voted Yes while 35.15% voted no. The turnout was 43.79%.
The referendum was held on the same day with the presidential election in which Michael D Higgins has been re-elected as Irish president after receiving 56% of the country's election vote.
A yes vote in the referendum is a further sign of the diminishing influence of the church in the once staunchly Catholic country. Although the blasphemy clause was enshrined in the constitution more than 80 years ago, when the Catholic church wielded significant influence in the nascent state, it was reinforced in the 2009 Defamation Act. Under the law, an offence is committed if someone publishes or voices material “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”. The last prosecution of this offence was in 1855.
|Subject Categories||Politics and International Relations|
|Countries / Regions||Ireland|