Press release

Greens call for hate crime legislation amid surge in racially-motivated attacks

8th May 2024
Deputy Patrick Costello

New figures showing a surge in hate crimes underline the urgent need for updated legislation in this area, the Green Party said today (May 8). The Green Party insisted on hate crime legislation being included in the Programme for Government and is currently working with coalition partners to place hate crime legislation on the statute books.

Gardai reported a 12% increase in the number of hate crimes and hate-related incidents last year. There were 651 hate crimes and hate-related (non-crime) incidents recorded in 2023.

The most commonly recorded motive was anti-race (36%). Anti-nationality (18%) motives overtook anti-sexual orientation (16%) in 2023. These three motives have been the most common in the past three years. Public order offences were most common (27%) followed by minor assaults (16%), criminal damage not by fire (9%) and criminal damage by fire (3%).

There are no specific hate offences currently on the statute book. The Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill 2022 will create new hate crime offences for the first time in Ireland.

Green Party justice spokesperson Patrick Costello TD said;

"Hate crimes are a cancer that will erode our society and democracy. Every hate crime sends a message, not just to the victim but to everyone in that community that they are a target. These latest figures show that we need to be stronger on hate crimes. This is a key commitment in the programme for government and I expect the government to deliver."

Midlands-North-West MEP candidate Pauline O'Reilly added;

"Being attacked and abused by others because of your own religion, ethnic origins, sexual orientation or any other part of your identity as a human being is completely unacceptable. We need this legislation to protect people; women, ethnic minorities, and the LGBTQ+ communities in particular. Everyone has a right to safety and security in their daily lives."

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