John McGuirk:

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’m a strong believer on a personal level in having a religious ethos in schools. However, I strongly support the rights of parents to choose the education they want for their children, and believe that we should allow parents to come together to set up schools in areas where they believe the current opportunities are inadequate, and I believe that the state should financially support such endeavours.
2. Would you support a referendum to remove religious references from the Constitution?

No. I would of course oppose the promotion of one religious faith over another, but a general reference invoking the blessing of a deity, should one exist, doesn’t strike me as problematic.
3. Do you believe that blasphemy should be a criminal offence?
No, absolutely not. There is no “Right” not to be offended.
4. Would you support legislation to prevent hospitals from having a religious ethos?
No, I would not. Many retirement homes, for example, are run by religious orders. The state should partner with people who are willing to be good neighbours and care for the sick and infirm. Such legislation would seriously impede that.
5. If elected, would you vote to ensure that religious bodies are treated the same as other organisations under equality and employment legislation?
No. I don’t think it makes sense that a Protestant School could be legally vulnerable if they rejected a teacher who was openly wiccan, for example.
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’m willing to look at this, and listen to the arguments on it. However, religious organisations in many cases do valuable community work, and my instincts tell me that the state should support all groups who work hard in the community.
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.
I’m committed to secularism – but it cannot be a secularism that is actively hostile to religion. The state should see the churches as partners – in the same way it sees community alert groups as partners, for example. That said, if the state is to guarantee freedom of religion, the state itself should have no one religion.

Kathryn Reilly:

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

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin:

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

Liam Hogan:

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

Joe O’Reilly:

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

Heather Humphries:

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

Peter McVitty:

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

Sean Conlan:

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

Darcy Lonergan

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

No Response Received From:

Brendan Smith

Margaret Conlon

Caroline Forde

Candidates Not Contacted:

Seamus Treanor

Joseph Duffy

Fine Gael Statement

Green Party statement

Labour Party Statement

Sinn Fein Statement

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