Secular Sunday #86 – Anthology of Interest

It’s been a relatively quiet week for Atheist Ireland but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty going on behind the scenes. As well as our forthcoming AGM, there are a number of other projects underway that we hope will benefit our members, help expand our membership and further our aims of building an ethical secular society. Announcements will be made in due course here and through the other usual channels. But for now, enjoy what news we have along with the usual miscellany.

– Derek Walsh, Editor


  • Michael Nugent is due to appear again on Vincent Browne’s new showChallenging God tonight, Sunday 18 August, at 11:00 pm on TV3. The series was recorded some time ago, and theologian Seán Freyne who took part in the scheuled episode died recently. Some listings now show a different episode, so it’s possible that Michael will not be appearing. Whichever episode is shown it’s likely to be of some interest to our readers.


All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise stated.

  • Wednesday 21 August, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
  • The Mid West Humanists are meeting. They’ll be talking about life as an atheist or humanist in a religious world, as well as their plans to meet with local TDs concerning the Constitutional Convention.
  • Sunday 25 August, 12:00 noon,  Galway Lawn Tennis Club, Galway (map)
    Humanists West, Galway are having their monthly meeting.Facebook event page
  • Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September, Carlingford Heritage Centre, Carlingford, Co Louth (map)
    All-Ireland Humanist Summer School. Organised jointly by theHumanist Association of Irelandand the Humanist Association of Northern Ireland. Prices vary.
  • Saturday 7 September , 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm, GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1 (map)
    Brendan Maher and friends will be outside the GPO with a stall promoting atheism, secularism and humanism. Email Brendan if you want to help or for further information.
  • Saturday 21 September, Harbour Hotel, Galway (map)
    Atheist Ireland AGM. Further details to be announced.

Media Watch

Barbara Monea

Thanks to Barbara Monea (pictured) for spotting and collecting the above news items and more which can be found ather blog, updated frequently.

If you spot anything in the media that you think may be of interest to our readers, send us an e-mail about it.


I took a sample of five thousand of Dawkins’ followers and examined their Twitter biographies, running them through a program that counts the frequency of words folk use to describe themselves and assembling an image where most frequently used words are shown in greater sizes. Dawkins’ followers are likely to describe themselves using words like student, science, university, teacher and atheist. (On a general note, an improbably high number of tweeps describe themselves as writers. I do hope they have day jobs.) – Geoff Lillis works his Twitter magic on Richard Dawkins’ followers

Islamic fundamentalism is one of the greatest threats to free speech and expression there is. It is not the only threat, nor might it be the greatest;  however, it is the only threat which when criticised are people accused of racism/bigotry/Islamophobia. The latest person to be levied which such accusations is Richard Dawkins after he posted a series of tweets attempting to critique the lack of scientific achievement in the Islamic world, using Nobel prizes as a metric. – Peter Ferguson on Owen Jones’ Accusation that Dawkins is a Bigot

Over the past few months a trend has become apparent in the way crimes against women are treated in Ireland by the courts. Lenient and inconsistent sentencing in particular is a concern, and I’ve detailed some of the more worrying examples of sentencing that have been reported on in the past couple of years. – Anne-Marie Flynn on the reporting and sentencing of violent crimes against women

Secular Sunday