The successful yes vote in Sligo-Leitrim to repeal the reference to blasphemy in the constitution is one to be welcomed.
It is vital our constitution should protect and be relevant to citizens in 2018, and not become a historical document. The current blasphemy law was updated as recently as 2009 and was required under the constitution. Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, a blasphemy law could only be viewed as an obstacle to free speech. It is a reflection of an Ireland resigned to history, and is not representative of the Ireland we currently live in. We live in a pluralist society and it was essential our constitution be again updated to ensure the best interests of all of its citizens.
After campaigning for a number of years on this issue, Corey said he was aware that there was not much interest in the referendum. It is understandable the interest in this referendum was low. The hope was this referendum would be attached to more pressing constitutional matters such as the right to housing, removing references to women’s place being in the home from the constitution or on public ownership of water etc.
Nonetheless, this is an important vote to update our constitution. Placing restrictive laws in the way of criticisms of beliefs are not in line with a democratic society and for those reasons it is excellent to see a Yes vote in Sligo -Leitrim.
The final results for the Sligo-Leitrim constituency were 56% voting Yes to repealing the reference to blasphemy in the constitution.