Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences)(Amendment) Bill 2014 [Seanad]: Report and Final Stages

Amendments Nos. 1 to 7, inclusive, are related. Amendments Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive, are physical alternatives to amendment No. 3. Amendments Nos. 5 and 6 are physical alternatives to amendment No. 4. Amendment No. 6 is a physical alternative to amendment No. 5. Amendments Nos. 1 to 7, inclusive, will, therefore, be discussed together.

I move amendment No. 1:

In page 4, to delete line 24.

I mean no disrespect to the Minister of State, but, once again, the Minister, Deputy Frances Fitzgerald, has blanked us. She must not like us.

The Deputy should speak for himself.

I am supposed to attend an under-18 match in Wexford tonight. My team is playing a Leinster championship quarter final match against St. Kevin's. It is only the second under-18 knockout game that I will have missed in 25 years because it is my job to challenge legislation and I am disappointed that the Minister is not present to participate in the debate.

I fear that the Bill and the principal Act may be used, as similar legislation has been used elsewhere, to restrict and clamp down on civil rights, freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of movement, while simultaneously embedding institutionalised racism in the criminal justice system. My amendments all have to do with section 4 on public provocation to commit terrorist offences, in particular the use of the word "encourage" in the section. In this context, it is extremely broad in its scope and ramifications. It even deviates from the European Union approved wording as laid out in the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism which is to be found in Schedule 2 to the Bill. The new section 4A on public provocation to commit a terrorist offence states that it means "the intentional distribution, or otherwise making available, by whatever means of communication by a person of a message to the public, with the intent of encouraging, directly or indirectly, the commission by a person of a terrorist activity". The Council of Europe uses the word "incite" as opposed to "encourage". This word is much tighter, less open to interpretation and reasonably narrows the scope of what is already very broad-ranging and wide-ranging legislation.

To quote the work of Dr. Cian Murphy of King's College, we are moving towards a criminal justice system that enforces pre-emption rather than prevention, which is a sure-fire formula for repression. Dr. Murphy argues that pre-emption involves taking intrusive action against potential threats based on at best mere suspicion. It is evident in policy documents such as the action plan for combating terrorism, the preambles to various legislative Acts and the operative texts of these Acts. EU counter terrorism measures seek to eradicate any space in which violent politics could develop. Key enactments put in place the common European crime of terrorism and systems of targeted sanctions and financial, travel and telecommunications surveillance. Although the targets of EU counter terrorism measures are those who incite, finance, support and carry out acts of terrorism, the entire population is affected by the law. The European Union did not adapt the rhetoric of a war on terror, yet many of the dangers posed by US counter terrorism measures in that state can also be seen in the European Union. In particular, EU counter terrorism measures have seen the centralisation of power and the adoption of legal Acts to the detriment of the rule of law and fundamental rights.

At the centre of this debate should be the issue of a balanced relationship between security actions and fundamental human rights. Instead, the Government is blindly implementing laws crafted in Europe by a legislative process that primarily comprises the puppets that are the European Heads of State and their neoliberal advisers, without a discussion of what the reality of their implementation would be on the ground. Do we really need more counter terrorism laws in Ireland? Are they proportionate to the threat? That there is a particularly low level of threat in Ireland has been admitted and even emphasised by Ministers and the Garda. We are clamping down on a threat that is barely there and, in the process, passing laws that affect everybody. Ironically, it is comparable to the United States bombing the living daylights out of citizens in Baghdad in its 2003 shock and awe offensive in order to take out Saddam Hussein who we knew had no weapons of mass destruction, an action some clear-sighted thinkers argue was central to the long, unnecessary and bloody road that has created the unstable situation that has us discussing this legislation in the Dáil today. That same provocation and what I regard as terrorist activity on behalf of the United States and the so-called coalition of the willing are fundamental to so many of the problems we are seeing in the Middle East today. The Middle East is a failed part of the world and the seriousness of the problem is unimaginable. We could not have dreamed ten years ago that it would get this bad. Aside from what we saw happen in Palestine last summer, what has continued in Iraq and Syria, the development of ISIS and the conflict in south Yemen are atrocious.

Most rational people have to admit that the invasion of Iraq was at the core of the destabilisation of the Middle East. I do not believe fair-minded people will deny this. The militarisation of so much of the world has been detrimental to millions of people. Over 60 million people have been forced to move from their homelands, of whom 33 million are people who have suffered as a result of acts of war. We are dealing with different crises such as, for example, the refugees in the Mediterranean, but when will we admit that dropping bombs creates serious problems? We allow Shannon Airport to be used to facilitate the dropping of bombs in the Middle East by the Americans and their fighter planes. We allow 2.5 million troops to move through the airport and the result has been devastating. I have to remind the Minister of State that in opposition the Labour Party was adamant that military aeroplanes should be searched because they were not supposed to be carrying arms. The number that pass through the airport in one week is phenomenal and now nobody wants to search them. That does not stack up.

The progress of counter terrorism legislative measures since the 11 September 2001 attacks has led us to a situation where there is overly broad use of criminal provisions that could be seen as breaching the principle of legality and the presumption of innocence under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The sad truth is that, even in the absence of a direct threat to Ireland, we will be faced with even more intrusive laws down the line. The Commission is discussing further moves, including stiffer border controls, better intelligence sharing, access to flight passenger registers and even the establishment of an EU security agency.

The sharing of air travel records has been a highly contentious issue for EU law makers who have blocked it since 2013. If enacted, it would mean that millions of EU travellers would have their personal data kept on file for years.

The fact that France has some of the stiffest anti-terrorism decrees in Europe did not thwart the Paris attacks. US and British security agencies are carrying out surveillance of their own citizens on a scale that was, until recently, something we associated only with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. He was not exaggerating, but he was behind the curve. To make matters worse, in July 2013 John C. Inglis, deputy director of the US National Security Agency, admitted in testimony that, at most, one plot might have been disrupted by the mass collection of telephone records of millions of Americans. Not even when one collects everything from everybody all the time does this anti-terrorism legislation work.

There are ways to discourage people from engaging in terrorism, other than the criminalisation of the direct or indirect encouragement of terrorism or terrorist publications. We need positive instances of cross-cultural dialogue on terrorism. Prosecutions that target speech would be a divisive strategy that could confirm fears that anti-terrorism efforts were based on hostility to Islam as opposed to condemnation of violence. Recently in America there was a gun attack in Dallas, Texas at a contest to draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Priyamvada Gopal, writing in The Guardian last week, drew parallels between this attack and the shootings in January at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. She noted that, at the same time the shootings in Dallas occurred, the French magazine was due to pick up a Freedom of Expression Courage honour awarded by the literary group PEN and wrote:

When six writers pulled out of the ceremony in protest, Salman Rushdie accused them of cowardice and condoning terrorism. The six argue that the award validates “selectively offensive” racist and anti-Islamic material.

The last person to be fired from Charlie Hebdo was a person who had created an anti-Jewish cartoon, while nobody has been fired for creating anti-Islamic cartoons there. Ms Gopal posed a vitally important question surrounding the situation, namely, "what sorts of speech make the defence of freedom of expression truly worthwhile?" She wrote:

Free speech is most precious when it genuinely questions power, when dissent challenges and undermines an unacceptable status quo. Meaningful dissent makes the invisible visible. While the openly tyrannical are obvious targets, in formally democratic contexts free speech is truly only a weapon when it sets its sights upon insidious norms and received ideas rather than sanctioned enemies.

What makes the Bill a particularly bitter pill to swallow is the fact that the organisation that will have primary responsibility to carry out the provisions contained in the Bill, An Garda Síochána, is organised in such a manner that when somebody exercises that most precious form of free speech and questions the structures of power within the force, the person concerned is treated with contempt. Human rights have yet to be enshrined in the Garda code of conduct. I raised some of these issues with the Minister today at Question Time. We find the way the two Garda whistleblowers, Mr. Keith Harrison and Mr. Nick Keogh, have been treated as bordering on unbelievable. We have to sit back and think about it for a while, question it and check it over and over and ask ourselves whether it could possibly be true. The way they have been treated is horrendous. People think we like to come into the House and just give out about the Garda. I would so much like to think the energy we have put into challenging how it operates is reaping fruit and that things will be different from now on. It would be a great acknowledgement of the energy we had put into it. However, sadly, I cannot say that yet.

When the Government defends the actions of the US military or our trade partner, Saudi Arabia, does this not encourage the commission by a person of terrorist activity? Aside from US bombs being instruments of terror, what more powerful encouragement is there to become a terrorist than the completely unwarranted destruction of one's village by a faceless and unaccountable aggressor? This reasoning is too unacceptable a truth to entertain. We are the ones who protect freedom, justice and democracy. We are so fond of these values that we are not prepared to invade other countries and help these values take root by the use of billions of dollars worth of tanks, guns and bombs. The law will be used only to undermine the free speech of those whom it is politically expedient to criminalise by holding a monopoly of the definition of the word in order that terrorism is something in which only others engage, not us. The Bill is built on a false, unjust and hypocritical premise. We ask why they treat us like this, why they do not like our democracy. While they do not dislike our democracy, they do not like bombs landing on them in the middle of the night, killing their women and children. They do not like this very much, but they have no problem with our democracy. The fact that every sane person accepts that terrorism is bad and the fact that the wording of the Bill is opaque makes the Bill difficult to oppose in any systematic manner.

That anti-terrorism legislation has been used to clamp down on human rights and very little else is uncontested by civil rights groups the world over. My amendment is an attempt to stem this abuse in a small way and, within the scope of the legislation, tighten the wording surrounding who can be accused of being a terrorist and seems to be one of the few routes by which we can do this. The real problems with the Bill are not restricted to its wording but rather what surround it. The context of the drive towards counter terrorism and mass surveillance is a toxic development. I abhor all forms of violence by everybody and do not take sides with any of them. Peace is wonderful and we should do our maximum to encourage it and refuse to facilitate anyone who wants to settle any dispute or argument using military means. One small step towards this would be stopping arms, munitions and troops passing through Shannon Airport.

The amendments are critically important and get to the heart of many civil liberties issues. They are being discussed in the context of our supposed desire to combat terrorism. Yet, as Deputy Wallace said, terrorism is something we facilitate on a daily basis by being complicit in the efforts of the US war machine, which has been the key reason for which terrorism has exploded and the Middle East has been destabilised in the manner in which it has been. Since 2001, the so called threat of Islamic terrorism has been exploited by political establishments to curtail freedoms, abuse human rights, expand the scope of state security, restrict freedom of movement and militarise everyday life. As a consequence, the security and protection industries have become fat from selling their protection products while the world is much less safe than before.

The legislation is unnecessary and is a disproportionate response to an over-hyped threat whose potential to curtail freedom of expression is very worrying and unnecessary. The group of amendments is structured such that if one were not accepted, another would have been. The amendments have two main threads, namely to remove all reference to public provocation and to change the wording of the definition of public provocation in order to remove the existing reference to "encouraging, directly or indirectly, the commission of a terrorist activity" and to replace it with "directly inciting". This is not an abstract or academic question but is critically important. The terminology we propose to put in is much more in kilter with international best practice.

It is what practically every EU member state except the United Kingdom is doing. This is a necessary amendment because the wording of the Bill, as it stands, is far too vague. There are direct and worrying implications for freedom of speech, given that under the Bill, as it stands, a public statement to the effect that Palestinians, Iraqis or Afghanis have the right to resist persecution through armed struggle could be construed as encouraging, directly or indirectly, terrorist activity and thus prosecutable. That is completely disproportionate. Advocates of direct action against corporations, government policies or intergovernmental organisations such as the European Union could also fall foul of public provocation offences because the definition of "terrorist" keeps changing.

The Minister for Justice and Equality attempted to assure us that the definition of public provocation would not criminalise acts of civil disobedience by referring to section 6(5) of the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005, which provides that the engagement in protest, advocacy, dissent, strikes, lockouts or other industrial action is not of itself a sufficient basis for inferring a person is carrying out an act with the intention of carrying out a terrorist activity. The problem is that the section only provides that protests are not sufficient of themselves to be construed as being carried out with the intention of, for example, seriously intimidating a population, unduly compelling a government or seriously destabilising or destroying a fundamental political institution. It does not bracket protests in and of themselves as a form of protected action. Such acts could be judged to have been carried out with one of the aforementioned intentions and thus prosecuted as terrorist offences. The wording of the Bill is vague to the point of being dangerous. One of the examples given in the Schedules is that endangering traffic could constitute a terrorist offence rather than a criminal offence. Such endangerment of traffic needs only to be committed with a view to unduly compelling a government or organisation to perform or abstain from performing an act. What is to say a protester who sits in front of a car in Tallaght is not committing an act that may be construed in this way? If he or she is trying to get a government to change something, he or she could be prosecuted for a terrorist offence. It is all very well for the Minister to claim that would never happen, but such incidents have occurred before.

The Minister must have a press engagement elsewhere, but these are important issues with implications for freedom of speech that should be of huge concern to citizens. These freedoms were hard fought for and they are now being given away without the batting of an eyelid. Legislation of this nature will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression if not challenged. I recognise the protections that have been provided for under the framework decision and in the Convention on the Prevention of Torture with regard to freedom of expression, but prosecutions have been pursued under criminal incitement laws, despite the existence of these protections. In Austria a Danish cartoonist was arrested and his material seized because he had put up posters which criticised the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, on the death of a Russian journalist and contained the words "shoot" and "Putin". In Azerbaijan an individual was convicted of inciting terrorism and sentenced to eight and a half years in gaol for writing an article opposing that country's support of US policies on Iran. It is not good enough to simply say these things do not happen. When an attempt was made to introduce provisions of this nature in Canada, there was a major outcry because they were viewed with horror by legal scholars and free speech advocates. Is this measure worth it in terms of what we will get out of it? International human rights law requires any interference with a human right to be necessary and proportionate. Interfering with freedom of expression will only be deemed to be necessary if it meets a pressing social need. Where is the pressing social need to introduce this measure?

Amendment No. 4 is particularly important in this regard and, to use a favourite Labour Party expression, it is eminently doable. Most other European states do not provide for an offence of indirect provocation. Ireland is under no obligation to do this and, even if we were so obliged, plenty of our international obligations have not been implemented in national law. Similar laws in other European member states do not use the word "encourage" because it is too vague; instead they use the precise term, "incite" which is also the term used in the framework directive that we are being asked to transpose into our law. This is a critical point. In Bulgaria the offence is openly inciting the perpetration of a crime by preaching before many people or distributing printed works. It is not limited to terrorist offences but refers to crimes in general. The term "encourage" is specifically excluded. In Germany only written materials that could serve as an instruction for the commission of a terrorist offence are covered. In France which is known for its freedom of the press public messages inciting crimes are an offence. However, this provision explicitly covers only direct provocation and provocation is only an offence if the incitement is acted on. Under the Bill, one could be prosecuted for encouraging somebody to do something that he or she did not ultimately do. That is the level of vagueness we are providing for in law. Italy and Hungary similarly restrict offences to incitement rather than encouragement. Even countries which include encouragement as an offence are much more careful in their definitions because of human rights concerns. It is telling that the only country with laws as vague and loose as ours and which provides a similarly flabby definition of public provocation is the United Kingdom. This provision appears to have been transposed from the UK Terrorism Act 2006 which is the only law in Europe to introduce an offence of encouraging terrorism, including the publication of statements that are likely to be understood as direct or indirect encouragement or other inducements for the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. This provision is out of kilter with what is in place in the rest of Europe and has been the subject of complaints by human rights bodies not only because it uses the word "encourage" rather than "incite" but also because it does not provide for an imminent threat or danger. This is a poor law.

Ironically, the European Parliament had the same concerns because in September 2008 it voted to amend the definition of public provocation in the framework decision such that it read:

Public incitement to commit a terrorist offence means the distribution or otherwise making available of a message to the public clearly and intentionally advocating the commission of one of the offences listed, where such conduct manifestly causes a danger that one or more such offences may be committed.

That is not what we are doing; we are going way beyond it. Some elements of the amendment were dropped in the end, but the wording, as it now stands, is "public provocation to commit a terrorist offence". It repeats the words "incite" and "causes a danger" that an offence may be committed. It is important that we take these points on board. There is a lot of evidence internationally on the issue of the restriction of human rights. There are a lot of warnings about the need not to enshrine in law loose, flabby and broad definitions. It is not good policy and leaves it open to interpretation. The International Commission of Jurists was asked by the Council of Europe to review the framework we are putting into law and it repeatedly warned that in enshrining in legislation vague wording such as "encouragement" or "glorification" one would run up against a host of human rights issues. It suggested the word "incite" be used. It is important that we look this suggestion. The Berlin Declaration stated we should steer clear of this type of thing, which is why we are tabling this amendment. Creating an offence of indirect encouragement of a terrorist activity, without explicitly mentioning the need for a direct and immediate connection between speech and the act that follows, is really dangerous. It put us out of kilter with everybody else. Apart from that specific point, the general implications for free speech are quite serious because, undoubtedly, the measure will succeed in having a chilling effect and result in self-censorship. It will be counterproductive in alienating communities which will perceive that the legislation is against them. We are all talking about inclusion and equality, but this gives the wrong signal. Therefore, we have to be much more specific.

Sadly, the reality is that we are living in a much more dangerous world than in 2001. Its root cause was the illegal invasion of Iraq and the subsequent destabilisation of the Middle East. Unless we discuss and tackle the conditions that lead people to engage in terrorist acts out of utter desperation at the devastation visited on their country, we will have this legislation standing decades of battles for civil liberties on their head, yet the world will be a much less safe place than it is now.

I am pleased to take Report Stage of this important Bill on behalf of the Minister for Justice and Equality who regrets that she cannot be here because she has to attend the Cabinet meeting which is currently taking place.

I propose to deal with the amendments tabled by Deputies Clare Daly and Mick Wallace together as they all relate to the offence of "public provocation to commit a terrorist offence". The amendments seek to either remove the offence of "public provocation" or revise the wording of the definition of the offence. I will deal first with the proposal to completely remove the offence of "public provocation" from the Bill which would be the effect of amendments Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, and 7 which propose to delete references to the offence where it occurs in sections 3, 4 and 7.

The offence of "public provocation" is one of three new offences that the Bill is required to provide for to allow Ireland to transpose EU Council Framework Decision 2008/919/JHA on combating terrorism and facilitate ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism which has already been signed by Ireland. The offence of "public provocation" is a central element of the framework decision and the convention, both of which were agreed to by member states of the European Union and member countries of the Council of Europe, including Ireland. To exclude this offence, as proposed by the Deputies, would mean that we would not be in a position to fulfil our obligation to transpose the Council framework decision or ratify the Council of Europe convention which is, after all, the main purpose of the legislation.

The Minister for Justice and Equality considers it appropriate that the offence of "public provocation" be covered in Irish law as it is, undoubtedly, an offence to incite a person to commit terrorist activity. Public provocation or incitement is clearly a preparatory terrorist activity and should be strongly discouraged and suitably punished. Specifically and in relation to amendment No. 7, it is not certain that the Deputies' amendments would achieve the desired result. Section 7 of the Bill amends section 6 of the principal Act, the Terrorist Offences Act 2005, and provides that it will be an offence to attempt to commit the offence of "recruitment for terrorism" and to commit the offence of "training for terrorism" but that it will not be an offence to attempt to commit the offence of "public provocation to commit terrorism". This is in accordance with the provisions of both the Council framework decision and the Council of Europe convention and reflects the fact that the offence of "public provocation", as defined, or elements of it, is more conceptually difficult to "attempt". Furthermore, the notion of intent is already covered in the "public provocation" offence as framed in that the definition of "public provocation" set out in section 4 of the Bill refers to "the intentional distribution, or otherwise making available, by whatever means of communication by a person of a message to the public, with the intent of encouraging, directly or indirectly, the commission by a person of a terrorist activity". The effect of the proposed amendment to section 7 would be to also make it an offence to "attempt" to commit the offence of "public provocation". It is unsure that this is what the Deputies intended, as it is clear from a number of the other amendments put forward that the overall intention is to remove the offence of "public provocation" from the Bill. Therefore, for the reasons outlined, it is not proposed to accept the Deputies' amendments to delete references to the offence of "public provocation" from the Bill.

I now turn to amendments Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive, which seek to revise the wording of the definition of "public provocation to commit a terrorist offence" in section 4 of the Bill. The amendments put forward by both Deputies are similar in nature and would essentially have the effect of narrowing the scope of the definition of "public provocation". It would do this in amendments Nos. 4 and 6 by removing the notion of indirectly encouraging the commission of a terrorist activity and replacing the word "encouraging" with the word "inciting" instead. It should, first, be pointed out that the wording of the definition of the "public provocation" offence, as with the two other offences, is based on advice received from the Office of the Attorney General and drafting by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. The wording, as drafted, broadly reflects the definition of "public provocation to commit a terrorist offence" as set out in the amending Council framework decision on combating terrorism and the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, the international instruments to which the Bill seeks to give effect. In order to enable Ireland to correctly transpose and ratify these instruments, the wording of our definition must capture the various elements of the offences as framed in these international instruments which are included in Schedules to the Bill. It is clear from the definitions provided in both instruments which are broadly similar that the indirect, as well as the direct, advocation of terrorist offences is intended to be covered by the offence of "public provocation". The definition, as provided for in the Bill and the international legal instruments, contains the word "intent", which implies that intention should be present, whether the commission of a terrorist offence is advocated directly or indirectly.

I turn briefly to the proposal to replace the word "encouraging" with "inciting" in amendments Nos. 4 to 6, inclusive. This is a common element in each of the amendments. While the definitions in the amending framework decision and the Council of Europe convention contain the word "incite", the Office of the Attorney General advised against using the term "incitement", a common law offence, when defining the offence of "public provocation to commit a terrorist offence". Concern was expressed by the office that the word "incitement", as understood in Irish law, might not capture circumstances where there had been no direct advocation and could, therefore, lead to difficulties in the prosecution of such cases. As I mentioned, the definition of "public provocation", as framed in both the amending framework decision and the Council of Europe convention, requires that indirect advocation of the commission of a terrorist offence must be covered. The wording of the definition of "public provocation" in the Bill should, therefore, remain as drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on the basis of the legal advice received on the matter. This is also in line with the recommendations of the Law Reform Commission in its report on inchoate offences, 2010, as to the terminology to be used when defining an act of incitement in statute in order to properly reflect the expansiveness of the meaning of the term "incitement" in common law. Again, for the reasons outlined, it is not proposed to accept the Deputies' amendments in this regard.

I thank the Minister of State. To reiterate, we could argue until the cows come home about the technicalities. Advice from the Attorney General can be perfect and sometimes maybe it is not perfect. I am not sure a Government would be acting within its remit to ignore such advice but maybe it is so. I imagined it could have some flexibility in the issue. The problem remains that despite whatever new legislation we or others bring in on the next occasion of an atrocious attack somewhere, people will wonder why it could not have been stopped. Further legislation may be introduced, with more laws infringing freedom, but that will not stop terrorism. These sorts of attacks will not stop until we address the root cause of the problem. The imperial war of aggression that does not stop - it has expanded and got so much worse in the past number of years - is part of the problem.

The major military power in the world is now America and it is difficult for anybody to get elected as US President without the support of the arms industry. So much of the decision-making around who gets bombed and shot is centred around promoting the arms industry. Until Ireland has the courage to behave like a neutral country and call a stop to this absolute nonsense, we will continue to have problems in the area.

The Minister of State seemed to suggest there is no way out of this and we are required to legislate for this provision in this way. That is not correct. We have given examples from France, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria, all of which have chosen to incorporate this provision in an entirely different and restrictive way than the Minister of State and his Government have proposed. None of these countries is to include what we are including, the idea of indirect provocation. It is such a loose description, it is almost beyond comprehension what this could cover. It could cover absolutely everything, and the countries I mention left this out altogether.

I have a real problem with the Minister of State again coming here and quoting the advice of the Attorney General. The Attorney General did not think the words in the framework directive were loose enough, in effect, and she thought there might be a problem with prosecutions later if the term was used. This is the term recommended in the EU and in the framework because "inciting" is something that is clearly defined and utilised much more clearly before our courts. Our civil liberties and our human rights are worth protecting. We are not necessarily talking about concrete acts but somebody interpreting that somebody else has not necessarily done something but possibly encouraged somebody else to do or think something. Big Brother has really lost the plot here, and 1984 in 2015 is beyond the bizarre when we see the repressive legislation that is being attempted.

The language is disproportionate and unnecessary. The Minister of State's response in saying we are required to do this is just not true. It is absolutely the case that we could put in the alternative wording that we use to replace "encourage" with "incite" because we know many of our European peers have done that. Instead, the Government is taking its old reliable option of copying what is done in Britain, even after it has been found not to work there and open to abuse or scrutiny. I have no doubt that if there are prosecutions under this provision, we as a State will find ourselves open to challenges under human rights legislation as a result.

The Minister for Justice and Equality is at Cabinet, as Deputies are aware. I conclude by thanking the House for giving time to this important matter, and I thank Deputies for their contributions, comments and general support of the Bill. When the Minister introduced the Bill to the House and initiated it in the Seanad, she said it was very significant and timely legislation, particularly in view of the thoroughly reprehensible acts of terrorism that we have witnessed in Europe and beyond in recent months. The broadly positive response to the Bill across all political parties recognises the importance of enhancing and modernising our laws against terrorism, and it demonstrates a shared determination to combat such extremist activity in all its forms.

This Bill builds on existing counter-terrorism legislation, particularly the Criminal Justice Act 2005, which it amends, by focusing on the more subtle and indirect aspects of modern terrorism, public provocation, recruitment and training. The Bill makes it an offence to engage in any of these preparatory terrorist activities and it provides strong penalties for those who are found guilty of them, including up to ten years imprisonment if the crime is sufficiently serious.

Full implementation of the EU legal framework on counter-terrorism, which this legislation will facilitate, will ensure that Ireland can stand resolutely along with our fellow EU member states in combatting the threat of terrorism, which has evolved with the use of modern technology, particularly in the context of preparatory activities such as incitement, recruitment and training. This legislation also paves the way for ratification by Ireland of the Council of Europe convention on the prevention of terrorism, a treaty that can be implemented not only by the European Union member states but also by countries across all of continental Europe.

I thank the Minister of State for his contribution. I would like Ireland to call for a peace conference. We should have it in Dublin. It would bring in a bit of tourism as well. Deputy Niall Collins might like it to be in Limerick but Deputy Mac Lochlainn would probably want it in Donegal.

The obvious place to have it is in beautiful Cork.

Cork is a grand spot.

What about Shannon?

It would be symbolic to have it in Shannon, given that we have allowed the airport to be used and abused to develop the war effort. Ireland is a very well respected country and there was a time we were perceived as being neutral. Given that we are a small island, there is much sense in us being neutral and not taking sides in any of these wars. Sadly, that perception has long ended.

It probably would not happen before the next election but it would be wonderful if the next Government put it in the programme for Government that it would go the extra mile to promote peace. It should refuse to allow anybody to use our island or any facilities to participate in a war effort of any sort, and it should stop supporting anybody who wants to settle their dispute, expand or promote financial interests or the arms industry. It should stop anybody who wants to use our island as a prop in doing that. It would be wonderful to have an Irish Government that would take a position on the issue and stand up at last. It is doable.

The notion of a peace conference must be healthy. One would never hear people saying they are not in favour of peace.

Yet, when we do things that facilitate war, we are being hypocritical when we say we want peace. Under no circumstances will I take sides in any of the disputes that go on as all participants in war have their own ends, which are not positive. They lead to untold hardship, agony and destruction. With more than 33 million people now displaced because of war, it is surely time for us to shout "Stop". Ireland could play a small role in that regard by calling a peace conference and refusing to support anyone who engages in war.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 2:

In page 4, to delete lines 32 and 33.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 3:

In page 5, to delete lines 8 to 14.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 4:

In page 5, lines 13 and 14, to delete "with the intent of encouraging, directly or indirectly, the commission by a person of a terrorist activity" and substitute "with the intent of directly inciting the commission by a person of a terrorist activity".

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 28; Staon, ; Níl, 46.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Bannon, James.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Conlan, Seán.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Tom.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Humphreys, Kevin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Walsh, Brian.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Clare Daly and Mick Wallace; Níl, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe.
Amendment declared lost.

I move amendment No. 5:

In page 5, line 13, to delete “encouraging, directly or indirectly” and substitute “directly or indirectly inciting”.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 6:

In page 5, line 13, to delete “encouraging, directly or indirectly” and substitute “directly or indirectly inciting”.

Amendment put and declared lost.

I move amendment No. 7:

In page 7, to delete lines 8 to 10.

Bill received for final consideration.

Amendment put and declared lost.

When is it proposed to take Fifth Stage?

Question put: "That Fifth Stage be taken now."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 59; Níl, 16.

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bannon, James.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Butler, Ray.
  • Buttimer, Jerry.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Coffey, Paudie.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Conlan, Seán.
  • Connaughton, Paul J.
  • Conway, Ciara.
  • Costello, Joe.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deenihan, Jimmy.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Dowds, Robert.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frank.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Hannigan, Dominic.
  • Harrington, Noel.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Hayes, Tom.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Keating, Derek.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kenny, Seán.
  • Lowry, Michael.
  • Lynch, Ciarán.
  • Lynch, Kathleen.
  • Lyons, John.
  • McCarthy, Michael.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Mulherin, Michelle.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Neville, Dan.
  • Nolan, Derek.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • Phelan, Ann.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Stagg, Emmet.
  • Tuffy, Joanna.
  • Twomey, Liam.
  • Walsh, Brian.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Fleming, Tom.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Healy, Seamus.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McLellan, Sandra.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Wallace, Mick.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Emmet Stagg and Paul Kehoe; Níl, Deputies Clare Daly and Mick Wallace.
Question declared carried.
Question, "That the Bill do now pass", put and declared carried.

A message will be sent to Seanad Éireann accordingly.