Secular Sunday #41 – OSCE, AGM, and Other Acronyms

Michael Nugent addressing the OSCE - click for video

Michael Nugent addressing the OSCE

Welcome to Secular Sunday, Atheist Ireland’s weekly newsletter.

In this issue:

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Blog Corner


  • On Monday 1 October, a delegation from Atheist Ireland attended and addressed the human rights implementation meeting of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe)  in Warsaw, Poland.
    Michael Nugent, addressing the meeting in a powerful and succinct speech, argued against blasphemy laws and the unquestioning respect of religious beliefs. Video Transcript
    Atheist Ireland hosted a side event where our Education Policy Officer Jane Donnelly spoke on the need for secular education. Video Transcript
    At the same side event, Professor David Nash of Oxford Brookes University spoke on the Irish blasphemy law. (Spoiler: he’s against it.)  Video Transcript
    We’ll have even more from the OSCE meeting in next week’s issue.
  • The details of our forthcoming Annual General Meeting have changed. Unfortunately, due to the complications of an Indian citizen with temporary residence in Finland obtaining multiple European travel visas, Sanal Edamaruku will not be able to join us. Therefore, only the AGM will go ahead on 20 October. This is a members-only event but, if you’re not currently a member you can join between now and then, or even on the day. (Membership is €25, or €10 for students or the unwaged.) Elections will take place for the committee positions of chairperson, finance officer, secretary and regional officer. The incumbent chairperson (Michael Nugent) and finance officer (Stephen Duggan) are seeking reelection, while the positions of secretary and regional officer are currently vacant. If you wish to nominate yourself or someone else for any of these positions, please email with details. If you have particular skills that you think could benefit the organisation, let us know as the committee can co-opt people for other positions as needs arise.
    We intend to host a further public event some time next month with Sanal Edamaruku and will have information on that once his travel difficulties have been resolved.
  • To help combat the effect of all the religious groups touting their imaginary wares outside the GPO on O’Connell St., Atheist Ireland member Brendan Maher set up a stall providing information about atheism, humanism and secularism. Watch a video of his first day. Brendan will be there on the first Saturday of every month. If you want to get involved or help in any way, email Brendan.

Upcoming Events

  • Monday 8 October, 8:30 pm, McSwiggans Bar and Restaurant, Woodquay, Galway (map)
    Galway Skeptics in the Pub. “Battleskeptics.” An evening of thinking and drinking. Facebook event page
  • Thursday 11 October, Cusack Suite, Best Western Academy Plaza Hotel, Findlater Place, Dublin 1 (map)
    Atheists in the Hotel – Veganism and Atheism. Dr. Roger Yates of Vegan Ireland, and unreformed omnivore Harry Guinness, will be having an informal – and hopefully friendly – discussion about veganism. Facebook event page
    We have changed venues for two reasons: the first is that the room in the Bankers was becoming too small to accommodate the growing numbers who attend these events, and the second is that it was inaccessible to people with limited mobility. Inclusiveness is an important part of Atheist Ireland’s ethos, and we are endeavouring to make our events as accessible as possible. We have identified a (small) number of wheelchair-accessible venues and are starting with this one.
  • Saturday 20 October,  2:00 pm, location to be confirmed, Dublin
    Atheist Ireland AGM . See above.

Blog Corner

  • I for one am heartened by the interest displayed in Ireland by American Catholics, representing fully 21% of those listed. We must find some way of transferring this fervent interest in diplomats’ accommodation arrangements into investment and tourism.Geoff checks out who follows the Twitter account of Ireland Stand Up, and finds they’re not all who they appear to be. He also makes some discoveries about the Discovery Institute, and has another swipe at Youth Defence.
  • We are beset, these days, with people making claims about products, services and viewpoints that have little or no scientific backing or evidence. Websites, advertisements and magazine articles sometimes contain extravagant claims about products and services that are guaranteed to change your life, make you rich, or provide therapies that are beyond the means of modern medicine.Colm from Cork Skeptics on how to spot “baloney”.

That’s it for this week. Till next week, you know where to find us.

Derek Walsh
Editor, Secular Sunday
Atheist Ireland

Secular Sunday