Irish police investigating Stephen Fry for blasphemy
His comments are ‘blasphemous’ under Ireland’s 2009 Defamation Law
Irish police are investigating supposedly blasphemous comments made by Stephen Fry on Irish television.
The Irish Independent writes that a member of public reported the actor and comedian to Ennis garda station after an airing of The Meaning of Life on RTÉ in February 2015.
In the programme, Fry said: “The god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac.”
The man who reported the comments under Irish law – the Defamation Act 2009 – explained to the Independent anonymously: “I told the [police] that… I had not personally been offended by Fry’s comments. I added that I simply believed that the comments made by Fry on RTÉ were criminal blasphemy and that I was doing my civic duty by reporting a crime.”
He went on: “I told the [police] I wanted to report Fry for uttering blasphemy, and RTÉ for publishing/broadcasting it and that I believed these were criminal offences under the Defamation Act 2009.” The Act carries a maximum penalty fine of €25,000 (£22,000).
Last year the man followed up with the police after he had been told they would “look into it”. He explained: “In late 2016, I wrote to the [police] Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan asking if the crime I reported was being followed up. A few weeks later I got a standard ‘we have received your letter’ from her secretary.” The man was recently contacted by police who said they were looking into his report.
A police source told the Irish Independent: “A complaint has been received and it is currently being investigated. Detectives will speak to those involved if they are available and a file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).”
Another “well-placed” source told the Independent that it is “highly unlikely” Fry will be prosecuted.
A spokesman for Fry said: “[There is] nothing for us to say while this is under investigation.”
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