In February 2011, Atheist Ireland wrote to candidates standing in the general election, asking for their views on issues related to the secularisation of public policy.

Here, we publish the responses – and non-responses – received, so that those who are concerned about these issues can be better informed when deciding which of their local candidates to support. These pages will be added to during the course of the election campaign as additional responses are returned.

Atheist Ireland encourages its members and supporters to volunteer practical assistance to those candidates whose opinions accord strongly with our positions.
The questions which we asked of candidates were as follows:

  1. Will you work to reform the education system so that all children in your constituency can access publicly-funded schools which have no religious ethos?
  2. Would you support a referendum to remove religious references from the Constitution?
  3. Do you believe that blasphemy should be a criminal offence?
  4. Would you support legislation to prevent hospitals from having a religious ethos?
  5. If elected, would you vote to ensure that religious bodies are treated the same as other organisations under equality and employment legislation?
  6. Do you believe that religions should have to pay their fair share of tax on income that does not come from charitable activities?
  7. If you wish to provide a brief general statements of your views on the future development of secularisation in Ireland, or to highlight any previous comments you have made on related issues, please do so.

Responses are organised by party (where the party has sent us an official response on behalf of all of its candidates) and by constituency (where individual candidates have replied).

If any of your local candidates are not represented here, it may be helpful if they are contacted by you as a constituent. Atheist Ireland has a letter which we would ask our members and supporters to use when contacting candidates directly – for a copy, contact Conor McGrath at

Responses from Political Parties:

Fine Gael response

Green Party response

Labour Party response

Sinn Fein response

Workers’ Party response


Constituencies in Dublin

Dublin Central

Dublin Mid-West

Dublin North

Dublin North-Central

Dublin North-East

Dublin North-West

Dublin South

Dublin South-Central

Dublin South-East

Dublin South-West



Constituencies in Leinster

Carlow – Kilkenny

Dun Laoghaire

Kildare North

Kildare South

Longford – Westmeath

Laois – Offaly


Meath East

Meath West




Constituencies in Munster


Cork East

Cork North Central

Cork North-West

Cork South Central

Cork South-West

Kerry North – West Limerick

Kerry South


Limerick City

Tipperary North

Tipperary South



Constituencies in Connacht

Galway East

Galway West


Roscommon – South Leitrim

Sligo – North Leitrim


Constituencies in Ulster

Cavan – Monaghan

Donegal North-East

Donegal South-West

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