I welcome the Minister to the House. Four weeks ago, the Houses of the Oireachtas took a progressive step in dealing with the sometimes shameful legacy of the State's treatment of the LGBTQI community by the passage in the Dáil of a motion apologising to those criminalised for homosexual activity. Similar legacy issues arise in respect of our Traveller and migrant communities and religious minorities. A shared future and creating an equal setting for all should always be core tenets of a process of reconciliation. In creating that equal setting, we must strive to eliminate the remnants of sometimes shameful legacies involving racism, ableism, sectarianism, bigotry, homophobia, biphobia or transphobia. In furtherance of that goal, every western European jurisdiction, with the exception of this State, has implemented robust hate crime legislation.
The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, ILGA, recently released its European rainbow map, an annual benchmarking tool which ranks 49 countries in Europe on their LGBTI equality laws and policies. Although many may consider Ireland a global leader in that regard, as it often is, the State was ranked 15th by the study.
I noted in the ILGA's report that the basis for Ireland's slippage in the rankings was its observation that hate crime legislation to protect LGBTQI people continued to be conspicuous by its absence from Ireland's Statute Book; not only that, it is much broader than my community. It means that, in reality, we have no way of bringing specified charges against individuals who specifically target minorities on the basis of racism, homophobia, ableism or other bigoted biases. As a result, we have no data for such incidents, which means that we have no competence in knowing how widespread these issues are. We might get a shock, although I hope not, when we do start to collate such data.
I am aware that the Irish Council for Civil Liberties released a report last week. I think the Minister is conducting a review of the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989, which is a welcome step, albeit long overdue. Perhaps the Minister of State might indicate the stage the review is at, when the report on it will be released and, ultimately, when he foresees robust legislation being brought to this House.
Again, I refer back to my community. In advance of Pride, a brick was thrown through the window of Pantibar on Capel Street and a couple were attacked in Portlaoise. It created a cloud over Dublin Pride. There are tragedies within these stories. If there were protections in place such as hate crime legislation, with the accompanying statistics, we could do a lot more to prevent them.