Europe

Irish police drop Stephen Fry blasphemy probe

Stephen Fry Image copyright PA

Police in the Republic of Ireland are no longer investigating a claim that British comedian Stephen Fry uttered blasphemous remarks on a TV show.

Irish media say the Garda dropped the case as there was no injured party.

A viewer had complained about comments made by Fry on a TV show in 2015.

Fry had asked why he should "respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world.... full of injustice". He later said he was not "offensive towards any particular religion".

News of the Irish investigation on Saturday caused a big stir on social media. The clip of Fry's interview was watched more than seven million times on YouTube.

A controversial law against blasphemy was introduced in 2009. It carries a maximum penalty of a fine of €25,000 (£22,000).

Viewer 'now satisfied'

Speaking to the Irish Independent newspaper, the man who had accused Fry said: "I did my civic duty in reporting it.

"The guards did their duty in investigating it. I am satisfied with the result."

The paper says no publicised cases of blasphemy have been brought before the courts since the law was introduced.

In a TV show called The Meaning of Life, hosted by Gay Byrne, Fry had been asked what he might say to God at the gates of heaven.

Fry said: "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It's not our fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"

In 2009 the then government said the law was needed because the republic's 1937 constitution gave only Christians legal protection of their beliefs.

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