Grania Spingies, who died suddenly this month last year, would have been fifty today. She was a founding member and first secretary of Atheist Ireland, and a contributor to Jerry Coyne’s website Why Evolution is True.
Grania was an intelligent and organised activist, a rational and effective communicator, and a lovely friendly person who combined compassion for people with a clinical commitment to truth.
Here is a tribute that I wrote to Grania after she died.
Here is a tribute that Jerry Coyne wrote on Why Evolution is True.
Here is a video of Grania’s family and friends gathering to remember her in Glanmire, Cork, shortly after she died.
Here are some photos from the event, which took place in Sarsfield GAA Club in Glanmire. It was lovely to meet her sisters Gisela and Gundy and her friends from near and far.
One of Grania’s favourite quotes was from Richard Dawkins:
“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”
We loved Grania, and we remember her love and legacy as we continue to campaign for the aims for which she dedicated her time and energy while working with Atheist Ireland. We miss her while we are working, reflecting, and waiting to socialise again.