This week Atheist Ireland helped a Limerick family who were denied their constitutional right to opt their child out of religious education classes in Irish schools. In two interviews today, on Newstalk Radio and Radio Kerry, Jane Donnelly of Atheist Ireland explains how to vindicate this right, as well as telling her own story of opting her child out of such classes. You can read more details on our education website Teach Don’t Preach, where you can also download a letter to give to your school outlining your legal rights.


400 people attended the Big Debate in the Stormont Hotel in Belfast last Thursday, where I and Rev David Robertson discussed whether Christianity is holding society back in Northern Ireland and generally.

The debate was chaired by William Crawley of BBC Radio’s Talkback. The conversation continued the next day on Talkback, which you can listen to here.


Atheist Song of the Week #6 – Thank You God by Tim Minchin

by Michael Nugent on November 22, 2015

This is my sixth Atheist Song of the Week. I could have picked any of many classics by Australian comedian and composer Tim Minchin, and Thank You God captures perfectly the wishful thinking of believing in an interventionist healing god.

“Fuck me Sam, what are the odds
That of history’s endless parade of gods
That the God you just happened to be taught to believe in
Is the actual God and he digs on healing
But not the AIDS-ridden African nations
Nor the victims of the plague, nor the flood-addled Asians,
But healthy, privately-insured Australians
With common and curable lens degeneration.”

See also my regularly updated list of video links to 200 Atheist Songs from an eclectic range of artists and genres. They don’t all promote atheism, but they should all make you think or laugh or both. More suggestions welcome.

[click to continue…]


State-funded Catholic schools are teaching senior infants that Mary said yes to being made pregnant despite being troubled, afraid and confused. I debated this with Rev Chris Hayden on RTE’s Liveline this week, hosted by Philip Boucher Hayes.


How we can use human rights law to tackle religious discrimination in Irish schools

November 22, 2015

Jane Donnelly of Atheist Ireland talking in Limerick City Library about using human rights principles and the Schools Equality PACT to tackle religious discrimination in Irish schools. The talk was organised by the Mid West Humanists on 20 November 2015.

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Government Bill in the Dail today will reinforce discrimination against atheist teachers

November 18, 2015

The Government is today bringing to the Dail a Bill to protect Catholic LGBT teachers from discrimination. While that part of the Bill is obviously a good thing, the Bill also reinforces the right of state-funded schools to discriminate against atheist and minority faith teachers. The Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill has already been passed in […]

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Atheist Song of the Week #5 – Banana Republic by The Boomtown Rats

November 15, 2015

This is my fifth Atheist Song of the Week. As it is the weekend of the Atheist Ireland AGM, I’ve gone for Banana Republic, a stinging critique of the Ireland of my teens by The Boomtown Rats. It was written in 1980 after the Rats had been banned from playing gigs in Ireland. “Everywhere I […]

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Ireland is gradually moving towards an ethical secular state

November 14, 2015

This is an overview of progress towards secularism on the occasion of Atheist Ireland’s 2015 AGM at 11 am today in the Ambassador Hotel in Cork. It will be followed by a public meeting at 2:30pm in the Ambassador Hotel. When Atheist Ireland was founded seven years ago, one of our first priorities was to […]

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Catholic school reinstates invitation for me to talk to its final year students

November 10, 2015

Saint Dominic’s College in Cabra, the Catholic girls’ secondary school that cancelled its invitation for me to speak to its final year students, has now reversed that decision. The Principal brought the issue to the Board of Management, which has decided to honour the original invitation. We now have to arrange a new date. Atheist […]

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Atheist Song of the Week #4 – Ten Commandments by New Model Army

November 8, 2015

This is my fourth Atheist Song of the Week. It’s a rejection of the imaginary revelations of man-made gods by English alternative rock band New Model Army. It was the B-side of their 1986 single 51st State, and also appeared on their 1994 compilation album B-Sides and Abandoned Tracks. “I will bow to the earth, […]

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