As the Deputy is aware, my Department is currently reviewing the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989. The review is examining the efficacy of the legislation and what amendments might be required in order to ensure it is effective and fit for purpose in a modern democracy. A public consultation on the Act is due to commence shortly and will be published on the Department's website.
Separately, the Department is undertaking research into hate crime (offences under the general criminal law, such as assault or criminal damage, that are committed with a hate or bias motivation), to learn from the approaches taken in other jurisdictions and collect important information about the effectiveness or otherwise of current practice in Irish law. This research will be completed in Q4 of this year and the results will help develop new approaches to ensure hate crime is addressed effectively in this jurisdiction.
Taken together, this work will significantly advance our understanding of what is needed to ensure that legislation in this important area protects and supports those who are vulnerable to expressions and acts of hatred. I will carefully consider the outcome with a view to bringing forward any necessary proposals for change.