Blasphemy (Abolition of Offences and Related Matters) Bill 2019 [Seanad]: Report and Final Stages

Bill received for final consideration.
Question proposed "That the Bill do now pass".

The Bill before us this evening does not vary from the general scheme as published. Section 1 is an avoidance of doubt provision, sections 2 and 3 remove reference to "blasphemous" in section 7 of the Censorship of Films Act 1923 and section 4 repeals sections 36 and 37 of the 2009 Act. Section 5 is a standard citation and commencement provision.

I am not sure of the extent to which Deputies wish to enter into debate. We had a lengthy Second Stage debate and Committee Stage. There were no Report Stage amendments. If Deputies have any queries I would be happy to take them, if not I would be pleased if the House would endorse the Bill.

I welcome the passing of this Bill. It arose as a result of the significant vote by the public to remove blasphemy from the Constitution. That is why the amendments are contained within this Bill. As I and the Minister have said previously, just because we are removing the act of blasphemy from the Constitution does not mean we are becoming an irreligious society or that we regard religion as something that can be easily attacked by any person. That is not the purpose of the legislation. It is to bring our laws up to date in order that we do not have archaic and anachronistic offences on our Statute Book when in fact they are never being used. For that reason I support the Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

A message will be sent to the Seanad acquainting it accordingly.