Dáil debates

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Report and Final Stages


4:20 pm

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Wexford, Labour) | Oireachtas source

I propose to amend my amendment at page 4 and to drop “to delete lines 35 to 38” and add something after the existing section 4. I will read this section, as it stands, for clarity. It reads:

4. (1) A person who—
(a) by any means—
(i) distributes or publishes any threatening or grossly offensive communication about another person, or

(ii) sends any threatening or grossly offensive communication to another person,

(b) with intent by so distributing, publishing or sending to cause harm, is guilty of an offence.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a person intends to cause harm where he or she, by his or her acts, intentionally seriously interferes with the other person’s peace and privacy or causes alarm or distress to the other person.

I suggest I add to subsection (2) of my amendment, which would read: "For the purposes of subsection (1), [which is the subsection I have just read] a person is presumed to have intended the natural and probable consequences of his or her acts, but that this presumption may be rebutted." I hope that is clear to the Clerk.


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