[Sinn Fein]

12th September 2002

Ó Snodaigh comments on hate crime conviction

Commenting on yesterday's second conviction and fine under the Incitement to Hatred Act, Sinn Fein spokesperson on Justice, Equality, and Human Rights, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said:

``In a climate where both violent racist attacks and the exploitation of racism for political ends are becoming more common, I believe that the judge's decision sends the right signal. Hate crime is not a victimless crime. Hate speech hurts. As such it deserves to be treated with all seriousness. Unfortunately, however, the Act as it stands is not the most effective legislative instrument, and needs to be amended.

``I believe that the eradication of hate crime should be a public priority, and that an effective challenge must combine the appropriate judicial remedy with vigorous, preventative public education.''

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