Leo Varadkar said Ireland’s laws are under review to rein-in those who incite hatred.
He is hoping the ‘woefully outdated’ legislation will be updated in 2020 to tackle growing concerns about hate speech.
The laws currently in place was drafted before online broadcasts and social media.
However, the Taoiseach stressed it’s a “tricky area” to legislate for.
He argued: “Our plan is to update that legislation – but we’re going to need to work with the opposition and work with the public on getting that right.
“It is a hard one to get right – to balance free speech, and also making sure that people who incite violence and hatred don’t just get away with it without being in any way accountable at all.”
Mr Varadkar added: “I’m somebody who strong believes in a free speech, believes in a free press, and believes that you have the right to offend as well.
“There is of course a huge difference between saying something that’s nasty and something that actually incites violence or incites hatred… writing that down in law, that’s a very tricky piece of work to do.”
Separately, the Taoiseach – whose father is originally from Mumbai and whose mother is from Ireland – said he has had to point out to some people that he is Irish.
He observed: “You’d be surprised the amount of people in the last couple of days who’ve heard I’m visiting India with my family and asked me when am I going back to India.