Blasphemy is now illegal in Ireland
The Irish President, Mary McAleese, has this morning signed the Defamation Act into law, which includes clauses which create the offence of "blasphemous libel". RTE reports that, following a meeting with the Council of State yesterday, McAleese decided not to refer the act to the Supreme Court to consider its constitutionality.
So from now on it is technically a crime in Ireland to produce or say anything "that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage." Doing so could incur a fine of up to €25,000.
Atheist Ireland have promised to put out a blasphemous statement, offensive to all religions in Ireland, in order to test the law - more details on that soon.