Secular Sunday #12 – Snakes and Shamrock Special

Welcome to a special St. Patrick’s Day/ Mothers’ Day/ Bank Holiday weekend edition of Secular Sunday.

(Actually it’s just a regular edition. If you want something related to St. Patrick’s Day or Mothers’ Day, try all forms of media or any retail outlet.)

In this issue:

  • News
  • Upcoming Events


  • The Irish government has rejected a recommendation by the United Nations Human Rights Committee to eliminate religious discrimination in access to education. It is the position of Atheist Ireland that the government was wrong to reject this request, that it was wrong to claim that there is a growing nondenominational school sector in Ireland, and that it was wrong to use the idea of the constitutional convention to delay addressing the need to remove the blasphemy law. Read more
    Atheist Ireland’s Education Officer Jane Donnelly has written on “The right and duty of Catholic Parents” and the conflicting views held by the Irish government and the United Nations. Read more
  • Michael Nugent and Jane Donnelly were among those taking part in a discussion on secularism on RTÉ’s The Frontline on Monday. If you missed it, catch up here.
  • Michael and Jane will be attending a conference in Limerick on Friday about Religious Pluralism in Educational Practice in Irish Schools. The conference is organised by Mary Immaculate College, Mater Dei Institute Educational and Research Trust, and the Professional Development Service for Teachers. We’ll have a report about it next week.
  • Congratulations to Seamus McKenna who has won our competition for a signed copy of Darrel Ray’s new book Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality. We asked what US state Darrel Ray was born in. The answer, as you all knew, is Kansas. (The winner was selected from all correct entries using the random number generator at
  • You’ve probably noticed that Atheist Ireland has a new logo. Thanks to all who gave feedback (positive and negative!) during the design process. As well as giving us a strong and recognisable identity, it’s the first step in a series of aesthetic, technical and functional improvements to our website. Expect more changes in the coming weeks and months.

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday 21 March, 7.00 pm, National Library of Ireland, Dublin 2 (map)
    Science for everyman (and woman): the Royal College of Science for Ireland and its students, 1867-1926. As part of the NLI’s “Particles of the Past” Lecture Series, Dr. Clara Cullen of UCD talks about the history of science education. All are welcome. No booking required. Read more
  • Wednesday 21 March, 8:00 pm, Carlton Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick (map)
    Mid-West Humanists monthly meeting. The Mid-west Humanists are a group of Humanists, Atheists, Skeptics and Freethinkers living in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary. All are welcome to attend.
  • Wednesday 21 March, 10:15 – 10:45 pm, Newstalk Radio (106 – 108 FM)
    Michael Nugent will be interviewed on Coleman at Large about atheism and secularism in Ireland.
  • Sunday 25 March, 12:00 pm, Quay Co-Op Meeting Room, Cove St, Cork (map)
    Cork Humanists present “Positive Psychology and the Good Life”, a speech by Dr. Zelda di Blasi, a psychology lecturer in UCC. Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 28 March, 7.00 pm, National Library of Ireland, Dublin 2
    Robert Boyle: Step-father to modern evidence-based medicine. Another “Particles of the Past” lecture. Professor Jim Malone, Director of the Robert Boyle Foundation discusses Robert Boyle’s contribution to medicine. All are welcome. No booking required. Read more

That’s all for this week. We’ll be back next Sunday with another regular edition. If you have any ideas, suggestions, criticisms or donations for us, get in touch via email, Twitter or Facebook.

Till next time,

Derek Walsh
Editor, Secular Sunday
Atheist Ireland

Secular Sunday