Minister seeks blasphemy referendum before election

The Irish Times reports on 22nd January 2105 thatAlex White, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, said he believes the blasphemy referendum could be held following the two polls due to take place in May, even though Taoiseach Enda Kenny is against further referendums this year.

The Coalition has committed to holding two referendums in the spring, one on same sex marriage and one on reducing the age of presidential candidates from 35 to 21.

Mr Kenny has ruled out holding further referendums this year on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Constitution  The Taoiseach has said people “may well switch off”.

Minister for Communications Alex White said it is unrealistic for Labour to expect to repeat its 2011 general election success.

No date for blasphemy

The Government has agreed to hold a referendum on blasphemy without fixing a date, but lowering the voting age is down the list of priorities.

Mr White said the referendums should be “on the agenda for the autumn”, but he would not “put them in any particular hierarchy” and say which, if any, should be given preference.

“I still personally think that in the autumn we should look again at the prospects of finishing off as best we can the work that was set out by the constitutional convention,” Mr White said.

“That’s my view, I have expressed that view and the Government has made no decision on it yet. I wouldn’t be critical of the Taoiseach or anybody else in saying: ‘Look, we are not going to have a lot of time.’

Minister White said: ‘No guidelines or ministerial orders can extend what’s in the legislation passed by the Oireachtas.’

You can view the full Irish Times article here Minister seeks more referendums before election

Atheist Ireland supports the blasphemy referendum to remove the offence of blasphemy from the Irish constitution and associated legislation.


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