Ahern was appointed Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform on the 7 May 2008 by the new Taoiseach Brian Cowen
On the 29th of April 2009, Ahern proposed an amendment to the Defamation Bill adding the crime of blasphemy to the statute books. This law passed on the 9th of July 2009.
Irish atheists have been posting on Atheist Nexus asking for help fighting the blasphemy law . It probably wouldn't have hurt if a few more people had written saying they won't be visiting Ireland if the blasphemy law passed. Tourism is a big industry there.
The jails are going to fill up, because blasphemy is a fine old Irish tradition.
Too bad more people didn't get involved before the law passed.
Let's get our facts straight before jumping to concussions.
"Mr Ahern said the legislation, which passed its committee stage in the Dáil (Irish parliment) yesterday, has been drafted to “make it virtually impossible to get a successful prosecution [for blasphemy] out of it”.
The reason that the law cannot be removed altogether is because there is a reference to it in the Irish constitution of 1937. Any change to the constitution requires a referendum, and until such a change is put into effect, the government is legally obliged to uphold the constitution. Hence this workaround.
The new law makes it easier to say, "god doesn't exist". Even to the point of lowering fines and taking away the death penalty for the supposed crime.
I've been having a bit of fun lately posting atheist propaganda on Irish newspaper sites. :)