Atheist Ireland is hosting a public debate on the Marriage Equality referendum at 7.30pm this Wednesday, 29 April, in Wynns Hotel on Abbey Street in Dublin.

The motion for the debate is “Would a No Vote be Good for Irish Society?”. The debate is open to everyone to attend and we look forward to a respectful but robust discussion on the night.

Admission is free.

This is the Facebook Event page.

Arguing for a Yes vote are Max Krzyzanowski and Brendan Butler. Arguing for a No vote are Susan Philips and Tom Carew. The debate will be chaired by Ashling O’Brien, the Chair of the Dublin Regional Branch of Atheist Ireland.

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Thank you to everybody who has phoned, emailed, texted or contacted me online with kind words about my interview with Marian Finucane on Saturday about my late wife Anne Holliday, grief and atheism. It means a lot to me.

This was both the easiest interview I have done in a long time, because I didn’t have to consciously remember what I was talking about, and also one of the most emotionally intense. Thank you to RTE for inviting me to do it.

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David Quinn IonaThe Iona Institute has made a significant U-turn by finally registering as a third party with the Standards in Public Office Commission, just seven weeks after they made a declaration to the Commission that they did not consider that they had to register, and less than a week after Atheist Ireland challenged that decision in a letter to the Commission.

The Standards Commission has a supervisory role under the Ethics and Electoral Acts. A third party is a person or group, other than a political party of election candidate, that has accepted a donation for political purposes exceeding €100.

Iona’s U-turn means that one of two scenarios must have happened:

Scenario One: Coincidence
Between August 2006 and 4 March 2015, the Iona Institute never received any donations for political purposes exceeding €100. They then received their first ever such donation sometime between then and 23 April 2015, which by coincidence was just after Atheist Ireland had contacted the Commission about them.

Scenario Two: Incompetence
Between August 2006 and 4 March 2015, the Iona Institute did in fact receive such donations for political purposes. They did not understand their obligations under the law, even when the Commission wrote to explain them, and they only realised their mistake on 23 April 2015, just after Atheist Ireland had contacted the Commission about them.

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My interview with the Vegetarian Society of Ireland

by Michael Nugent on April 24, 2015

I recently did an interview with the Vegetarian Society of Ireland about my transition to veganism, ethical atheism, and my favourite vegan recipes.

You can read it here.

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Why we are Openly Secular by Atheist Ireland and Atheist Northern Ireland

April 23, 2015

To mark Openly Secular Day on 23 April 2015, Atheist Ireland and Atheist Northern Ireland have recorded this video, along with our guests from America Aron Ra and Lilandra Ra.

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How Religion Harms Education – Aron Ra, me and Lilandra Ra speaking to Atheist Ireland

April 22, 2015

Aron Ra, Texas State Director of American Atheists, and I spoke yesterday to an Atheist Ireland meeting about How Religion Harms Education, in the Davenport Hotel in Dublin. We were introduced by Jane Donnelly, Atheist Ireland’s Human Rights Officer. Lilandra Ra also spoke to the meeting about atheism in Texas.

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My response to Ashley Miller’s open letter to me

April 20, 2015

Dear Ashley, Thank you for your open letter. I understand your feelings after waiting a week without a response from me to your last post. I’ve now been waiting three months without a response from the manager of your blog network, Ed Brayton, to an email about the network’s oversight mechanisms. You are correct that […]

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Richard Carrier’s latest smears are poorly researched, insulting to women activists, and defamatory

April 17, 2015

Richard Carrier has just published some of the most vacuous and insulting of the recent smears against Atheist Ireland, Hemant Mehta and me. And so I have to again reschedule other activities, including finishing my response to the more considered posts by Ashley Miller, MA Melby and Secular Woman, in order to ensure that Richard’s […]

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The Catholic Church, the HAI and Iona have all failed to register their political activity with SIPO

April 17, 2015

Atheist Ireland has registered with SIPO, the Standards in Public Office Commission, as we are a body that seeks to influence public policy. We have also written to the Standards Commission asking them to ask the Catholic Church, the Humanist Association of Ireland, and the Iona Institute to also register with them. One of Atheist Ireland’s […]

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Has Ireland a sustainable position on Integration? Conference and debate in Dublin

April 16, 2015

Metro Eireann is hosting a National Integration Conference and Debate on Thursday 30 April, from 10am to 2pm, in Saint Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin 9. The topic is: Does Ireland have a sustainable position on the issue of Integration? The keynote Speaker is Brian Lucey, Professor of Finance at the School of Business, Trinity College […]

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