Wednesday 25 April 2018

War of words restricts our right to say what we think

No one should need to beg the Government's permission to express an unpopular opinion

Ciaran Cannon: The Galway East TD had his people to fire off a press release last week which criticised the decision of Notre Dame university to invite writer John Waters to deliver a lecture at in the United States. But what business was it of the minister’s?
Ciaran Cannon: The Galway East TD had his people to fire off a press release last week which criticised the decision of Notre Dame university to invite writer John Waters to deliver a lecture at in the United States. But what business was it of the minister’s?

Eilis O'Hanlon

Twitter users woke last week to discover that they now had twice as many characters at their disposal as before. Tweets immediately grew longer, and, ironically, much less interesting. That perfectly encapsulates the modern malaise of having more and more opportunities to use free speech, whilst the amount of relevant or even interesting things which we're permitted to say has reduced in tandem.

The space for genuinely free speech is shrinking. Too many are lurking in the shadows, eager to take offence.

That's what makes it so dispiriting when the Taoiseach allows himself to be infected by this disease of prissiness in the face of plain speaking.

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