Liam Johnston:

Can I begin by saying that Fís Nua have not debated the matters raised within your email as our main concern has been in the short period of time that we have formed and fought to be registered as a political party, in developing policy and action plans towards rescuing this country from the economic slavery and corruption that the previous government has excelled in.

Therefore the views that are represented below are my own views personally and should not be taken as representative of Fís Nua until such time as we publish our policy on them.

Overall may I state that I firmly believe that every citizen of Ireland should be free to follow whatever faith they choose to believe in or not,  without fear of discrimination or prosecution from the state, its agents, and the people therin.

1.  Public schools need to be seperated from the control of any religious institution.  If a school is to receive money from the state then that school has to be open to all tax-payers of that state without predilection to any particular faith.

2.  If a Constitution is to be representative of the people it sets out to protect, then that consitution has to include all aspects of its citizens lives including the freedom to follow or not a faith of their chosing.  The wording of such rights upheld in a constitution should not give emphasis or bias towards any particular faith and needs to be considerate to all.

3. No.

4.  Again in the same vein as question 1, if a hospital is to receive state funding then it cannot predispose iteself to any one particular faith.

5. Yes

6. This would warrant fuller investigation before I could answer from an informed perspective as each religion has different aspects to its method of operating as an organisation.  There is the question of whether you are asking about donations collected by the Religous body from its members, or whether income comes from corporate or business sources.  I cannot answer presently on this at the moment until I have more time to consider all aspects fully.

John Hyland:

I do not believe in promoting one religion.

At the same time, I do not believe in leaving a spiritual or philosophical vacuum.

I think this is made very clear in the ‘Education’ section of my manifesto (pdf downloadable on website

I think my election website and personal websites (linked on ‘About John Hyland’ page) should give you a pretty good insight or feel into who and what I am! Please take time to really explore them too!

I am not a perfect man, not backed by slick promo machines and spin doctors and big money campaigns. I can’t even afford posters.

I am just one ordinary everyday working man following my heart.

I hust so much from what I see having happened to my country and people, and will not rest easily until I have made my very best effort to bring positive change to a bad situation.

If I have the priveledge of being elected I intend to serve the people of my constituency and my country with equal vigour and determination!

To do this in the best possible (imperfect human as we all are) capacity I would of course always refer and consult to others for their opinions in various fields I make take interest or concern in.

And so I certainly welcome your offer!

My father suffered abuse from the ‘Brothers’ in Artane.

It caused grief beyond…

However, I feel that Faith ( not so much religion) also has an important place in society.

I am not here to cater to any special interest groups and will not give vague or loose response.

I will not give people the answers I think they want to hear.

That is dishonest.

I do not want to be catagorised and hope you will respect that wish, and the frank honesty of my response.

The things I want to achieve I have been very clear of in my manifesto.

I have also been very clear (perhaps very un-politician like) that I am not out to cater to everyone’s taste.

I am here to fix this country and I will do my utmost to do just that.

Having written to me you must have great belief in your convictions, and I commend you for that.
I also thank you for showing me an interest.

I know this might not be the perfect response you may have wanted, It’s just me being me!

Mary Lou McDonald:

See the statement provided by Sinn Fein on behalf of all its candidates.

Joe Costello:

See the statement provided by the Labour Party on behalf of all its candidates.

Aine Clancy:

See the statement provided by the Labour Party on behalf of all its candidates.

Phil Kearney

See the statement provided by the Green Party on behalf of all its candidates.

Pascal Donohoe:

Thanks for your queries. I think the same query may have been sent to other Fine Gael candidates and answered from our election HQ. Nevertheless, I am happy to say that I subscribe to the views of my party colleagues.

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?

Fine Gael supports diversity in our school system and do not feel that the current patronage model reflects modern Ireland. Parental choice must be at the heart of how the patronage model develops and we will hold a national forum on education to debate the issues involved with all stakeholders so that parents and organisations with a view on how the system should evolve, have an opportunity to discuss the issues in an open forum. From there, we will plan a way forward, which will respect the views of all involved.

2.      Would you support a referendum to remove religious references from the Constitution?

Fine Gael’s immediate priority is reform of the political institutions in the Constitution in order to make the political system more effective and accountable. Nevertheless, if elected to Government, Fine Gael will consider the continued relevance of religious references in the Constitution as part of our programme of Constitutional review.

3.      Do you believe that blasphemy should be a criminal offence?

No. Fine Gael does not believe the blasphemy should be a criminal offence and made this point repeatedly during the debate on the Defamation Act 2009.

4.      Would you support legislation to prevent hospitals from having a religious ethos?

Fine Gael has no plans to publish legislation to prevent hospitals from having a particular religious ethos. Our immediate priority, as outlined in our FairCare health plan, is to reform the delivery of health services and to create a strong public health service. This involves implementing a new approach to waiting list management, developing primary care services and introducing Universal Health Insurance (UHI) for all. Once UHI is introduced the unfair and inefficient two-tier health system will be eliminated allowing fast access to improved services for all.

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?

Fine Gael has no plans to tax the income of charitable organisations.

Regarding your last question;

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.

I am happy to give a personal view on this. While I am of the majority faith in this country, I will act as a legislator for all and decide what is in the best interest of the entire country. Religious faith is a personal matter, not political one and one’s beliefs should not- and in my case, do not- influence my views on public issues that may have a “moral” element.

Malachy Steenson

See the statement provided by the Workers’ Party on behalf of all its candidates

No Response Received From:

Cyprian Brady

Mary Fitzpatrick

Maureen O’Sullivan

Christy Burke

Cieran Perry

Paul O’Loughlin

Benny Cooney

Candidate Not Contacted:

Thomas Hollywood

Green Party statement

Labour Party Statement

Sinn Fein Statement

Workers’ Party statement


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