Secular Sunday #99 – Into the West

There’s a lot going on this week, all over the country. If you’re in Galway in particular, make sure to check out either or both of Atheist Ireland’s events there. See the Calendar section for full details.
I will be spending most of the coming week working on the special new look souvenir one hundredth edition of Secular Sunday.  Or not. But I’ll try to make it a bit special.

– Derek Walsh, Editor


  • The United Nations Human Rights Committee has said that it is to raise several secular issues with Ireland, which Atheist Ireland recommended in a submission to the United Nations in August. Read more.
  • Atheist Ireland has sent a submission to the Equality Authority, regarding a proposed amendment to Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act 1998-2011. This is the Section that allows religious, educational or medical institutions to discriminate against employees or potential employees who do not share the religious values and ethos of the religion that runs the institution. Read more
  • This week the Constitutional Convention will be in Sligo Borough Council City Hall on Tuesday and The Radisson SAS, Athlone on Wednesday.
    The Constitutional Convention is holding public meetings throughout Ireland to get the views of the public on changing the Constitution. You can give your views on the separation of Church and State to the Constitutional Convention for consideration in the next phase of the Convention’s agenda.You can find information on the work of the Constitutional Convention here. The full list of the various meetings throughout the country can be found here.
    Some Atheist Ireland committee members will be at these events from around 6:30 pm  if you would like to meet and discuss the meeting.
  • Last Sunday journalist Colette Colfer attended our Second Sunday brunch in Dublin. You can read her thoughts on it here.


All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise stated. Listing is not necessarily an endorsement.

  • Monday 18 November, 8:30 pm, McSwiggans Bar and Restaurant, Woodquay, Galway (map)
    Galway Skeptics in the Pub #69Facebook event page
  • Tuesday 19 November, 7:30 pm, Sligo Borough Council City Hall (map)
    Public meeting of the Constitutional Convention. See News section for more details.
  • Wednesday 20 November, 7:00 pm, Cairnes Building, NUI Galway (map)
    Atheism in Education. Michael Nugent and Jane Donnelly of Atheist Ireland will be discussing the development of the new curriculum that Atheist Ireland is working on with Educate Together about atheism for primary school children. Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 20 November, 7:30 pm, The Radisson SAS , Athlone (map)
    Public meeting of the Constitutional Convention. See News section for more details.
  • Wednesday 20 November, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall,Limerick (map)
    The Mid West Humanists are meeting. There will be a talk by John Mullin on “What is ‘science’ and where did it come from? A condensed history of thousands of years of human knowledge and progress, and what it means now.”
  • Thursday 21 November, 7:00 pm, Salthill Hotel, Galway (map)
    Michael NugentJane Donnelly and Peter Ferguson of Atheist Ireland will be in Galway and would like to meet people who are interested in understanding how Ireland can become a truly secular state, as well as to hear people’s views on the course about atheism for primary schools that we are developing and to  work actively with people in the West of Ireland to set up a new branch of Atheist Ireland for political and social activities.
  • Sunday 1 December, 4:00 pm, Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2(map)
    Monthly meeting of the Humanist Association of Ireland.
  • Friday 6 December, Trinity Capital Hotel, Pearse St., Dublin 2 (map)
    Atheist Ireland Christmas Party. An end of year celebration with finger food and good company. Admission is free for Atheist Ireland members, and €10 for non-members. (If you’re not already a member, you can join on the night.) Facebook event page
  • Saturday 7 December, 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.

Media Watch

Thanks to Julian Williams, Michael Everson, Astrid Malachewitz and Peter O’Hara for drawing our attention to some of these stories.


  • Atheist Ireland is financing, developing, designing and piloting Ireland’s first ever primary school course about atheism. Please donate to help us make this course a reality. Learn more.
  • There is still time for members of the public to make a submission to the Department of Education on inclusiveness in schools. The closing date for submissions is Friday 22 November. Read more
  • The Constitutional Convention is taking submissions from individuals on any topics people feel they should address. We are encouraging people to make submissions on the topic of separation of church and state. You can do so here.


The late Agnes Gonxha, a.k.a ‘Mother Teresa’ was not the saint that so many think she was, but like the rest of us she was just another flawed human being. Since her death we have learned that she sometimes flirted with Agnosticism and even Atheism. Personally, I think this was the most admirable thing about her. –Andrew Devine-Rattigan on the hypocrisy of Mother Teresa

Throughout history it was those whose rights that were being denied who advocated against the inequality they suffered. So, either marriage equality opponents have unearthed the first ever example of where people aren’t willing to speak up against the inequality they face, or children of same-sex couples simply don’t feel as though their rights have been violated. – Peter Ferguson asks children of same-sex couples how they feel

Secular Sunday