Ireland apologises for historical persecution of LGBT people

Ireland is to issue an apology for historical persecution under anti-gay laws.

The Republic of Ireland only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993, five years after its archaic sodomy law was found to be incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Prior to decriminalisation, laws dating from the nineteenth century made “buggery” an offence punishable by imprisonment, and gay men in the country lives under a culture of fear.

In a poignant move today, the government of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is set to issue an apology to men who were persecuted under the laws.

The move has a particular resonance as Varadkar is the country’s first openly gay leader, taking office in June 2017.

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Charles McQuillan/Getty)

The leader is expected to give a speech before the Dáil today on a Labour Party motion on the issue, tabled by Senator Ged Nash.

The motion is supported across parties.

Nash told HotPress: “This historic motion represents an important reckoning with our past. The State inherited draconian laws we applied over many decades to persecute and prosecute gay men merely for being who they were.

Ireland’s Prime minister Leo Varadkar (LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty)

“It took until 1993 for Irish law makers to show the moral courage to banish these cruel, antiquated and inhumane laws from our statute books.

Comments (0)

MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.

Loading Comments