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.
The leader is expected to give a speech before the Dáil today on a Labour Party motion on the issue. The motion is supported across parties.
Mr. Varadkar (middle) with his partner Matt Barrett (right)
and Mr. Trudeau (Canada PM), at Montreal Pride Parade
Ireland has also never apologized for what is simply referred to as "The Condolence" - but should. In May of that year, at the end of the Second World War, and when reports of the Nazi Holocaust against Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and LGBTQ people (among others) shocked civilized humanity, the Taoiseach and one of the founders of the Irish Republic, Éamon de Valera, accompanied by the Secretary of External Affairs, Joseph Walshe, called on Dr Hempel, the Nazi minister, last evening, to express his condolences’. and by extension, those of the Irish people who were neutral during the war. The condolences were for Hitler who had committed suicide on 30 April. The Irish Times was prevented by the censor from publishing the following report from Reuters on 3 May: ‘The Irish delegation mourns Hitler. Lisbon, May 3. The Irish Minister in Lisbon today hoisted the German swastika at half mast over the legation as a sign of mourning for Hitler’. It must be noted that Fascist Spain and Portugal, also neutrals, did not mourn the death of Hitler, nor did any of the other nations of the world at the time. Ireland was alone in this respect. This is something that Ireland has never apologized for. To read more about "The Condolence" https://www.historyireland.com/20th-century-contemporary-history/de-valera-hitler-the-visit-of-condolence-may-1945/ReplyDelete
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