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Template to Report Incitement to Hatred against Members of the Travelling Community on Facebook


The text below was developed by the Irish Traveller Movement Law Centre in relation to a particularly vile, racist, anti-Traveller facebook page. We enourage ITM members, individual Travellers and anyone who is appalled by racism to use the text below to report this grossly offensive page. The text can also be used to report similar pages that cause offense in relation to anti-Traveller racism.



TEMPLATE LETTER


(NAME AND ADDRESS OF LOCAL GARDA STATION)

Date


RE: Incitement to Hatred against Members of the Travelling Community


Dear Garda,

I am writing to you as a member of the Travelling community in Ireland and wish to bring the Facebook page “Setting Aside Monday Afternoons to Hunt Knackers” to your attention.

The postings to the page clearly fall within the type of actions prohibited by the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989 as outlined below.

Publish Broadcast Written Material

The following interpretations are taken from the Act:

“"broadcast" means the transmission, relaying or distribution by wireless telegraphy or by any other means …. signs, visual images or signals, intended for direct reception by the general public whether such communications, sounds, signs, visual images or signals are actually received or not”


“"publish" means publish to the public or a section of the public and cognate words shall be construed accordingly”


“"written material" includes any sign or other visual representation.”
These postings fall within the definition of both “broadcast” and “written material” as they are published and made visible to a large section of the public.


Offence

According to s.2(1):

“ it shall be an offence for a person to publish/distribute/display written material in any place other than a private residence (or inside a private residence but seen by persons outside) if the written material is threatening, abusive or insulting and are intended or, having regard to all the circumstances, are likely to stir up hatred.

“ “hatred” means hatred against a group of persons in the State … on account of their…ethnic origins…[or]… membership of the travelling community”
It is clear that the person who started this page and those who contributed intended to stir up hatred against this minority group and this is evidenced by the number of response postings received.


Garda Powers

As you are aware you have the power to arrest without warrant and charge the person responsible for this offence under section 10 of the Act. Any further proceedings in the matter (other than any remand in custody or on bail) may only be taken with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

I call on you in the most strenuous terms to charge the responsible person/s and to seek this consent to prosecute from the DPP. 


Yours faithfully,

__________________
(Name, contact phone number, address)