Edmund Butler:

Thank you for your email. I am a deeply committed catholic and a deeply spiritual person. I have many reasons for this. If I should have had no belief in God, then my demise would have come about many years ago. I have had four miraculous interventions in my life. At each point I was faced with imminent death. There is nothing in this world which could change my belief.

Because of its importance to me I would love to give the same hope and trust that I have to everyone. It has fulfilled my existence so much that I cannot imagine life without God. I feel that people who do not share in God’s grace as much as I do miss so much happiness.

Because of my love for everyone I promise you that I will spend a considerable amount of time in prayer for you and your organisation. I will be asking God for enlightenment for you.

Paul Doonan:

I am a pluralist and believe in a secular government of society.

To put down or look down on someone else’s beliefs or non beliefs has caused too much grief in the world since time began.

Their should be equal access and opportunity for all beliefs in education, health care and employment.

I believe that being an atheist is a belief in itself and as such should not expose the practitioner to unequal treatment.

I would appreciate your views on the questions posed in the Candidate Issue Positions as what I want is secondary to what you as a constituent want.

Kevin McCaughey:

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?

I believe that religious instruction is the responsibility of the parents first and foremost and schools can facilitate parents to provide that to their children should they wish outside school hours.

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

You would need to be more specific about that.  What references do you mean?  Whether or not I would support a referendum would depend entirely on what references were being referred to.  It is all about the context of the references.

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

I believe it is not the role of the state to legislate on issues of blasphemy.  There may be issues to do with offending people’s religious beliefs but they can and should be dealt with by legislation such as the incitement to hatred Act.  It makes no sense to have a state legislature passing laws that have nothing to do with them.  Issues of blasphemy are best left to those that are versed in such matters like church theologians.

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

Again it would depend on the legislation but do I believe that church doctrine should not determine the level of health care that a citizen gets? The answer is Yes.  Access to health should be governed by the laws of the state and not by particular moral codes of particular churches.

5.      If elected, would you vote to ensure that religious bodies are treated the same as other organisations under equality and employment legislation?

Thats a difficult one.  Although i believe very much in the equality of all people, I think it is difficult to apply equality and employment legislation to a private religious organisation whose members choose to be members and who can leave at any time.  I think it is more important to concentrate on the total separation of church and state in this case.

6.      Do you believe that religions should have to pay their fair share of tax on income that does not come from charitable activities?

I believe that churches should be assessed on their charitable status according to the same criteria as other charities are.

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.

Please note that although I do not believe I am contradicting any policies of the Green Party, these are my personal views.

I hope that this answers some of your questions and whether you vote Green on the 25th or not please just vote.

In addition, see the statement provided by the Green Party on behalf of all its candidates.
Green Party statement

Paul Hayes:

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

Michael McCarty:

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

Jim Daly:

See the statement provided by Fine Gael on behalf of all its candidates.

Noel Harrington:

See the statement provided by Fine Gael on behalf of all its candidates.

Kevin Murphy:

See the statement provided by Fine Gael on behalf of all its candidates.

No Response Received From:

Christy O’Sullivan

Denis O’Donovan

Dave McInerney

John Kearney

Michael O’Sullivan

Fine Gael statement

Green Party statement

Labour Party Statement

Sinn Fein Statement

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