Secular Sunday #59 – Food For Thought

It’s time for this week’s Secular Sunday.

In this issue:

  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Blogologue


  • Today, Atheist Ireland simultaneously hosted brunches in Dublin, Cork and Sligo. Around 30 people showed up for the one in Dublin including several people who’d never attended our events before; and reports from Sligo indicate the event there was also well-attended. No word from Cork yet, so presumably they’re all still at brunch! Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we plan to hold these events on the second Sunday of every month. If there’s no event in your area, arranging one is as simple as choosing  a venue and letting us know so we can publicise it.
  • Atheist Ireland will be meeting with the Irish Government later this year for a bilateral meeting under the process of structured dialogue between the State and churches, faith communities and philosophical and other non-confessional bodies. Read more
  • In the first of a series of articles for Atheist Ireland, Andrew Devine-Rattigan remembers the set-menu Irish Catholics of recent decades, argues that they are being replaced by a new generation of a la carte Irish Catholics, and says that atheists and secularists should welcome this rejection of religious authority. Read it
  • Atheist Ireland’s chairperson Michael Nugent was on Newstalk on Monday discussing philosopher Alain de Botton’s secular 10 commandments (listen). He also appeared on Radio 1’s God slot on Friday debating David Glass, author of Atheism’s New Clothes: Exploring and Exposing the Claims of the New Atheists (listen). In between, he travelled to Limerick to debate Youth Defence on the subject of abortion. (Video and transcript) The Youth Defence speakers declined to give permission for their contributions to be recorded.

Upcoming Events

  • Monday 11 February, 8:30 pm, McSwiggans Bar and Restaurant, Woodquay, Galway (map)
    Galway Skeptics in the Pub: “Increase YourWordiness”. Facebook event page
  • Thursday 14 February, 7:00 pm, Thomas Davis Theatre, Trinity College Dublin (map)
    The Humanist Association of Ireland’s Darwin Day lecture. This year’s lecture will be given by Dr. Aoife McLysaght, on the topic “Darwin and Human Evolution: what do we know today?” Read more
  • Friday 15 February, 7:30 pm, Quay Co-op, Cork (map)
    Cork Humanists Book Club will be discussing White Teeth by Zadie Smith. Facebook event page
  • Tuesday 19 February, 7:00 pm, Camden Palace, Cork
    Cork Humanists Film Club will be showing Magnolia. (Supported by voluntary donations. Suggested donation €3) Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 20 February, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
    The Mid West Humanists are meeting. As well as old and new attendees (new people always welcome) getting to talk about life as an atheist or humanist in a society with a religious-biased culture, they are continuing their plan to meet TDs in the region, on the Constitution, starting when the Blasphemy article arises in the Convention.
  • Sunday 24 February, 12:00 noon, Galway Lawn Tennis Club, Galway (map)
    Humanists West, Galway are having their monthly meeting. Facebook event page


  • Quinn’s blog post was timed as a response to the Late Late show’s discussion on marriage equality. Lacking any stronger point or argument of substance he opted to take issue with language used by viewers via Twitter. His upstanding companion and he compiled utterances deemed offensive and crafted from them a “river of bile”, a cliché which will hopefully not impinge on his writing career.Geoff examines the Iona Institute’s uneasy relationship with Twitter.
  • Yet another relic of Ireland’s dark and disturbing past has come to light. We are haunted by yet another example of abuse and exploitation by the Catholic Church that went unchallenged for decades. This is the Magdalene Laundries, centres of shame run by nuns from the foundation of the State in 1922 until 1996.Robert Nielsen looks at the Magdalene report.

That’s it for another week. Till next time, take care.

Derek Walsh
Editor, Secular Sunday
Atheist Ireland

Secular Sunday