Atheist Ireland to brief UN Human Rights Committee about Ireland’s failure to protect rights of Atheists and Secularists

This July Ireland will be examined by the UN Human Rights Committee under the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights.  By ratifying this UN Treaty Ireland has guaranteed to protect the Human Rights guaranteed in the Treaty to all within its territory.

Atheist Ireland will be attending this session in Geneva, under the auspices of Atheist Alliance International. Atheist Alliance International has Special Consultative Status with the UN and we have registered at the UN under their name.

We have made a comprehensive Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee which is now available on the UN website.

In our Submission we highlight that in Ireland atheist/secularists suffer religious discrimination and are not equal before the law. We have pointed out that there is no effective remedy in Ireland to vindicate the rights guaranteed under the Covenant and we have highlighted the Louise O’Keeffe case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Other areas that we have raised are in our submission are:

  • The Irish Education system / non- Denominational Schools/ Complaints Mechanisms.
  • Religious Oaths in the Irish Constitution and Irish Laws.
  • The Irish Blasphemy Law.
  • New Discrimination in the Civil Registration Amendment Act.
  • Abortion and Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution.

We will have the opportunity in July to raise the above issues and point out to the UN Human Rights Committee the failure of the Irish State to protect the human rights of atheists/secularists in many areas of Irish life.



Jane Donnelly


  1. Avatar
    Jonathan Ward June 24, 2014

    Hi Jane,
    Im looking for information on Atheist groups. Could you let me know if there is a meeting place for like minded people were they have conversations about atheism. Ive been an atheist for many years now and haven’t bothered talking about it but the recent things hapening around the world caused by religion is really getting to me. I know its a matter of time before the world will not believe in a creator but if there was anyway i could help speed up the process I recon I would be doing the human race a (minuscule) bit of help.
    Yours Sincerely
    Jonathan Ward

    • Avatar
      Helen O Shea June 24, 2014

      Hi Jonathan, There are several events. We have meetups around the country which you can find on the front page under Secular Sunday Brunches. There is also the monthly event atheist in the pub if you are in Dublin. Details are posted on our facebook group page and also on our weekly newsletter “secular sunday”. If you enter your email in the subscribe box you will be kept up to date with atheist events around Ireland.