Planning-Joint-Campaign-to-Repeal-the-Irish-Blasphemy-Law-1-860x450_cAtheist Ireland welcomes today’s unopposed vote in the Oireachtas to hold a referendum on 26th October to remove the offence of blasphemy from the Irish Constitution. We have been campaigning for a decade to get this referendum called, and we will campaign for the next six weeks for a Yes vote.

We support the right to freedom of religion or belief, the right to freedom of speech, and the separation of church and State. The Irish blasphemy law infringes all of these principles. It has no place in a modern democratic republic.

The Irish blasphemy law is harmful. In Ireland, it has caused media outlets to self-censor themselves. Globally, it has emboldened States with more authoritarian blasphemy laws, who have cited the Irish law at the UN to support theirs.

We agree with the many bodies that have called for the removal of the Irish blasphemy law, from the 1995 Constitution Review Group and the 2008 All-Party Committee on the Constitution, to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.

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Vote on 26th October to remove the Irish blasphemy law

by Michael Nugent on September 18, 2018

The Irish Constitution, written in 1937, makes blasphemy an offence punishable by law. There will be a referendum on 26 October (along with the Presidential election) in which we can vote to remove this anachronistic offence.

Atheist Ireland supports the right to freedom of religion or belief, the right to freedom of speech, and the separation of church and State. The Irish blasphemy law infringes all of these principles. It has no place in a modern democratic republic.

The Irish blasphemy law is harmful. In Ireland, it has caused media outlets to self-censor themselves. Globally, it has emboldened States with more authoritarian blasphemy laws, who have cited the Irish law at the UN to support theirs.

We agree with the many bodies that have called for repeal of the Irish blasphemy law, from the 1995 Constitution Review Group and the 2008 All-Party Committee on the Constitution, to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.

To help the campaign to remove this law, contact Atheist Ireland at atheist.ie or the campaign website blasphemy.ie

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Seven reasons to protest Pope Francis

by Michael Nugent on August 19, 2018

mdh francis Six years ago, Atheist Ireland joined LGBT Noise in a small protest outside the Catholic Church’s Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, against the ongoing efforts by the Vatican to oppose equal civil rights for LGBT people. A lot has changed since then.

This week Atheist Ireland will join a much larger number of protesters, in Dublin and around the country, against the injustices that the Catholic Church has perpetrated on our country.

On Saturday, while Pope Francis is in Croke Park, Jane Donnelly of Atheist Ireland will be speaking at a public meeting in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin supporting separation of Church and State. Please attend this or join your nearest protest.

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Higgins President 2Yet again Ireland is to hold a Presidential election that excludes conscientious atheists as candidates, as in order to take office we would have to swear a religious oath that is in our Constitution. This would force us to dissemble about our beliefs, and breaches our human right to freedom of conscience and belief.

The oath that the new President must swear is:

“In the presence of Almighty God, I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me.”

If instead, in order to become President, the Constitution required that a winning candidate had to swear that there is no God, everybody would immediately realise that this would be a breach of their rights. But there is a blind spot when the discrimination is the other way around.

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Atheist Ireland to meet Department of Justice today to discuss new blasphemy repeal bill

July 18, 2018

Atheist Ireland welcomes the published wording of the proposed amendment of the Constitution on around 25 October to repeal the offence of blasphemy. Atheist Ireland will be meeting this afternoon with officials in the Department of Justice, to clarify any technical or logistical questions that we have. We will then commence our fourteen-week campaign in […]

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Allez les bleus, twenty years on from the magic of my only live World Cup Final in Paris in 1998

July 15, 2018

Twenty years ago this weekend, my wife Anne and I were in Paris to watch the 1998 World Cup final. It remains the culmination of my football-watching life. Nothing since has matched the scale of the atmosphere of seeing the inspired French defeat the magical Brazilians before a passionate home crowd to capture the world’s […]

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Atheist Ireland welcomes part of Schools Admissions Bill and continues our work for secular schools

July 11, 2018

The Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill has now passed in the Dail. From September the vast majority of schools will no longer be able to discriminate in entry on the grounds of religion. However, minority religious schools can still continue to discriminate as they still have exemptions from equality laws. Atheist Ireland has been campaigning […]

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Remembering Joe Davis, who died this week

July 8, 2018

Joe Davis, one of Atheist Ireland’s earliest and most-loved members, died this week. For most of his life, he felt like an outsider as an atheist living in Ireland, and he was delighted to have found a like-minded community when Atheist Ireland was founded a decade ago. We were delighted to have had the privilege […]

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Atheist Ireland welcomes blasphemy referendum in October

June 12, 2018

Atheist Ireland welcomes the announcement that our decade-long campaign for a referendum on the blasphemy law has been successful. We will finally be able to vote in October to remove this anachronistic, silly, and dangerous clause from our constitution. The blasphemy ban is anachronistic, because we should be removing 1930s religious references from the Irish […]

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The number one song on my birthday, 1st June, every year since I was born

June 1, 2018

1961 – Elvis Presley – Surrender 1962 – Elvis Presley – Good Luck Charm 1963 – Beatles – From Me To You 1964 – Cilla Black – You’re My World 1965 – Sandie Shaw – Long Live Love 1966 – Frank Sinatra – Strangers In The Night 1967 – Tremeloes – Silence Is Golden 1968 […]

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