Michael McDowell: Profound issues at stake over free speech and Islam

Should Ireland pursue French policy of ‘laïcisme’ or simple pluralism?

Pedestrians pass a poster depicting French teacher Samuel Paty placed in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 30kms northwest of Paris following the decapitation of the teacher. Photograph: Thomas Coex/Getty Images

Pedestrians pass a poster depicting French teacher Samuel Paty placed in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, 30kms northwest of Paris following the decapitation of the teacher. Photograph: Thomas Coex/Getty Images

Our Constitution guarantees freedom of religious belief to all citizens and provides that the State will not endow any particular religion.

In the 1960s our Supreme Court developed a theory that the Constitution guaranteed unenumerated rights to citizens in addition to those rights explicitly mentioned in the 1937 text.

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