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Padraig Reidy: What’s the difference between “offensive” and “grossly offensive”?

alt informationJudge Liam McNally's decision to allow the unpleasant Pastor James McConnell walk free is a little triumph for free speech

Padraig Reidy: Insisting the heavyweight be silenced accomplishes nothing

alt informationPity poor Tyson Fury. No, wait, don’t. He’s heavyweight champion of the world and doesn’t seem particularly bothered what you or I think

Padraig Reidy: UK’s counter-extremism strategy is another blow to universities as free spaces

alt informationThere are a few techniques you can use to spot whether someone has slightly dodgy views on the world. My favourite is the hand-chopping test.

Padraig Reidy: When it comes to public figures, we should err away from caution

alt informationThis week's intervention by Lord Ashcroft might not be the best example of the old speak-truth-to-power schtick, but being rude about powerful people is very important and even cathartic

Padraig Reidy: “Denis O’Brien to sue everyone”

alt informationIreland’s richest media mogul, owner of the country’s largest newspaper group, had a satire malfunction last week when his solicitors, Meaghers, pursued up-and-coming satirical website Waterford Whispers.

Padraig Reidy: Why Golders Green isn’t Britain’s Skokie

alt informationThis is the British way of free expression; a matter of practicality rather than principle, a pliable concept, one that can almost always be tempered by appeals to taste

Padraig Reidy: A disgraceful use of the Communications Act

alt informationThe prosecution of Pastor James McConnell under the Communications Act is the action of a prosecution service more interested in appearing to be liberal than upholding justice and rights

Padraig Reidy: Just another old man yelling at a cloud?

alt informationEvery so often (roughly generationally) there are upheavals in mores and language. We’re on that cusp now.

Padraig Reidy: When Putin met the Pope

alt informationWhat might have happened when the leader of the world’s largest state met the leader of the world’s smallest?

Padraig Reidy: Denis O’Brien, parliamentary privilege and the public interest

alt informationIrish billionaire Denis O'Brien got on an injunction on the reporting of a speech in parliament regarding his private banking relationships

Padraig Reidy: We cannot choose which free speech we will defend and which we will not

alt informationIf we are to imagine free speech as a defining value of democracy (as David Cameron has said he does) then we cannot just choose which free speech we will defend and which we will not (as David Cameron has said he wants to)

Padraig Reidy: James Rhodes and the visceral need to be heard

alt informationI was reminded of poet Carolyn Forché and her concept of witness when I read the reactions to the court decision that would finally allow pianist James Rhodes to publish his memoir, Instrumental