Secular Sunday #139 - The Return || 24 August, 2014
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek Walsh
Well, I'm back. I know you didn't miss me too much because John Hamill proved such a capable replacement. In fact, I suspect many readers will be disappointed to have me back — particularly those who like to get their newsletters early in the day! Many thanks to John for filling in for me so I could enjoy my holiday in peace. Anyway, normal service is now resumed, for better or worse.

- Derek Walsh, Editor



Back to School

The new school year starts soon and for many non-religious parents that means an ongoing battle to have their rights - and those of their children - respected. The bad news is that the state continues to permit discrimination on the grounds of religion by schools against students and teachers, and the vast majority of schools exercise such discrimination. The good news is that this discrimination no longer goes unnoticed or unchallenged, thanks in large part to the work of Atheist Ireland (and Jane Donnelly in particular).
The United Nations Human Rights Committee has told the Irish state to stop breaching the rights of atheists and people of minority faiths and have queried the state's failure to improve the education system in this regard. For more information and additional resources, see our education website Teach, Don't Preach.
If you are a parent, a student, or even a teacher facing challenges in the education system you can contact for advice or assistance.




Upcoming Events

All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise stated. Listing is not necessarily an endorsement. Listings sorted alphabetically by county, then chronologically.


Sunday 7 September, 4:00 pm, Buswells Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2 (map)
Monthly meeting of the Humanist Association of Ireland. Facebook event page

Saturday 13 September, 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin 2 (map)
TEDxDublin. A day of short talks on interesting subjects. Tickets from €25, now sold out.


Sunday 31 August, 12:00 noon, Oslo Bar, Upper Salthill, Galway (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event pageFacebook event page


Sunday 31 August, 12:00 noon, Woodlands Hotel, Dunmore Road, Waterford (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page. Facebook event page


29 August

International Day against Nuclear Tests

30 August

International Day of the Disappeared



This Week in History

Anniversaries of momentous events in atheism, science, skepticism, secularism and human rights, plundered shamelessly from Wikipedia and other sources.

24 August

2006: The International Astronomical Union redefines the term "planet" such that Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet.

25 August

2012: Voyager 1 spacecraft enters interstellar space becoming the first man-made object to do so.

29 August

1831: Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.

30 August

1909: Fossils are discovered by Charles Doolittle Walcott in the Burgess Shale Formation, in the Canadian Rockies. It is now one of the world's most celebrated fossil fields, famous for the exceptional preservation of the soft parts of its fossils. At 505 million years  old, it is one of the earliest fossil beds containing soft-part imprints.


24 August

1957: Stephen Fry, English, comedian, writer, actor, presenter. In 2010 he was made a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association.

26 August

1965: Marcus du Sautoy, English mathematician and current Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.

29 August

1632: John Locke (d. 1704). English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and known as the "Father of Classical Liberalism"

30 August

1871: Ernest Rutherford (d. 1937). New Zealand-English physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate.


Material collected from the Irish atheist blogosphere and beyond; used without permission, compensation, liability, guarantee or implied endorsement.

Rape Victim Force-Fed and Cut Open in Ireland

by Bock the Robber

Bock the RobberA woman who had been raped looked for an abortion when she discovered at eight weeks that she was pregnant.
Under our new compassionate law, following the horrifying death of Savita Halappanavar, the woman was entitled to seek an abortion if she was pregnant and suicidal, but this is Ireland, the most moral country in Europe, and therefore it’s not that simple.
Instead of acting on the issue immediately, the medical experts who have legal jurisdiction over her body made the woman wait a further four months, until the foetus became viable.  An Irish solution to an Irish problem, as that vile old cynic, Charlie Haughey, once intoned. Read more

Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world



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