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Time to remove 'outdated' blasphemy laws, says Justice Minister

The Justice Minister says Ireland's blasphemy laws are damaging to our reputation internationally.

Charlie Flanagan is advocating for a Yes vote in Friday's referendum.

He says most EU countries are changing their laws in recent times and it is not reflective of a modern society.

Minister Flanagan says it is time the word 'blasphemous' was removed from the Irish Constitution.

"Every party in the Dáil, including all the independent TDs have resolved that we will put this question to the people, voting is on Friday, and that we would ask for a yes vote simply to remove the outdated, outmoded word 'blasphemous' from our constitution," he said.

The referendum has been described as 'a waste of money' by Senator Ronan Mullen.

He says he is not actively campaigning against the abolition of the article.

But he claims it supports the idea of a pluralist Ireland, with people of many different faiths.

Senator Mullen thinks the money used to hold the vote could be better used elsewhere.

"My big point on this actually has been that this is a collosal waste of money.

"It costs about €3 million to tack this question on to the presidential election.

"That's €3 million that could be spent, you know, on hospital beds."

Digital Desk