A man is to appear before Killarney District Court tomorrow in connection with an anti-Traveller Facebook site called ‘Promote The Use Of Knacker Babies As Bait’.
A barman at the time of the alleged offence, he was charged at Killarney Garda Station a fortnight ago in relation to his involvement in creating the site.
The man is being brought before the courts under Section 2 of the Incitement of Hatred Act 1989 which, among other things, prohibits the publishing of racist material.
The offensive site had built up a following of 664 fans before Facebook removed it last summer after complaints by community workers nationwide.
Official complaints were also lodged with the Gardai by members of Pavee Point, Kerry Travellers Development Group and Waterford Travellers Community Development Project.
Sergeant Dave McInerney of the Garda Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office confirmed that the case was unusual: “It’s the first time someone had been charged under the Incitement to Hatred Act for online publishing.”
Section 2 of the Incitement of Hatred Act 1989 makes it an offence to “publish or distribute written material” or “to distribute, show or play a recording of visual images or sounds” that are “threatening, abusive or insulting and are intended or, having regard to all the circumstances, are likely to stir up hatred.”
The offensive site referred to in the story was one of three hate sites set up last year targeting Travellers. All have since been removed.