Seanad debates

Friday, 18 December 2020

Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill 2017: Committee and Remaining Stages

 

10:00 am

Mary Seery Kearney (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I read this section and took great comfort from it. Every now and again, I get letters that challenge me for daring to have a double-barrelled surname. I am confident that the Deputies Healy-Rae never get similar letters. The challenge is designed on the fact of my gender and the letters are grossly offensive and make all sorts of assumptions because my husband and I decided to take each other's name. In that light, I read this section as possibly putting manners on some of these people, who think they were entitled to write in with their full opinion and so on, which is irrelevant to me carrying out my job. I hear Senator Ward's concerns, but this provision would in practice be constrained to where it was intentional to cause harm. From that point of view, it is a great section.

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