Secular Sunday #162 - Still Winter || 1 February, 2015
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek WalshIn Ireland, the first of February is traditionally considered the first day of Spring, although the current temperature belies this. It is also, in the Catholic calendar, the feast day of Saint Brigid, who, among many other fantastic feats, is said to have performed a miraculous abortion on a pregnant nun. It's not by any means the most implausible miracle attributed to the Kildare woman, but it's far less likely than most to be mentioned by Catholics.
- Derek Walsh, Editor



International Blasphemy Campaign

Atheist Ireland is part of a new International Coalition Against Blasphemy Laws launched earlier this week. The coalition consists of three major transnational organisations: the International Humanist and Ethical Union,  the European Humanist Federation and Atheist Alliance International as well as atheist and humanist groups from a number of countries with laws against blasphemy or "religious insult".
Atheist Ireland will be meeting officials from the Irish Department of Justice next week, and we will be meeting the Taoiseach the following week, and at both meetings we will be asking the Government to comply with its promise of a referendum to repeal the Irish blasphemy law.
We look forward to the support of our new partners in the Campaign to End Blasphemy Laws, we look forward to supporting our partners in ending blasphemy laws in their own countries, and we look forward to working together to end blasphemy laws wherever they exist around the world.
We have also launched a new Facebook page associated with our website.


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 8 February, 11:00 am, The MAC, 10 Exchange Street West, Belfast, BT1 2NJ (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page


Sunday 8 February, The Courtyard, Quarterdeck (Back bar), South Gate Bridge, Sullivan's Quay, Cork (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page


Sunday 15 February, 5:00 pm, Mount Errigal Hotel, Ballyraine, Letterkenny (map)
Secular Sunday Supper. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page


Friday 6 February, 6:00 pm, The Stag's Head, Dame Court, Dublin 2 (map)
Dublin Skeptics in the Pub will mark their fifth anniversary with a talk by Michael Marshall entitled "Lifting the Lid – Ongoing Adventures in Pseudoscience" Facebook event page

Saturday 7 February, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm, GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1 (map)
The Atheist Ireland Information Table will be outside the GPO providing information about Atheist Ireland and atheism and secularism in general. Pop along to say hello if you're in the area or email Brendan Maher if you want to help or for further information.

Sunday 8 February, 1:00 pm, Trinity City Hotel. Pearse Street, Dublin 2 (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page

Thursday 12 February, Trinity College, Dublin 2 (map)
Humanist Association of Ireland's Annual Darwin Day Lecture. "The Ice Age - What have we learned in 200 years?" given by Professor Peter Coxon. Facebook event page

Tuesday 24 February, Trinity College, Dublin 2 (map)
Origins Project Dialogue. Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins on Randomness and Uncertainty. Tickets £35stg plus booking fee. Facebook event page. Buy tickets


Saturday 21 February, 12:00 noon, Fels Point Hotel, Tralee(map
For the first time Atheist Ireland will be setting up an information table in Tralee. We will set the table up in The Square (exact location will be picked on the day) from 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm. We will follow this up with lunch from 2.30 pm. Volunteers for the table are welcome and everyone is welcome to come along to the lunch. Meetup event page


Sunday 8 February, 12:00 noon, a Casa Mia, Tobergal Lane, Sligo (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Meetup event page



6 February

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 120 to 140 million women have been subject to this harmful practice and 3 million girls continue to be at risk each year. FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of human rights. It has been banned in Ireland since 2012.


4 February

Dara O Briain1972: Dara Ó Briain, Irish comedian and television host.
"Right now I would take homeopaths and I'd put them in a big sack with psychics, astrologers and priests. And I'd close the top of the sack with string, and I'd hit them all with sticks. And I really wouldn't be bothered who got the worst of the belt of the sticks. Anyone, in answer to the difficult questions in life, the 'I don't know what happens after I die' or 'What happens if my loved ones die?' or 'How can I stop myself dying?', the big questions, who gives you an easy bullshit answer, and you go 'Well, do you have any evidence for that?' and they go 'Ah, there is more to life than evidence', get in the fucking sack."


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

Bullies Have Feelings Too, Says Dublin School

by Bock the Robber

Bock the RobberColáiste Eoin is perhaps the most inclusive school in Ireland.  Not only does it welcome gay people, black people, travellers, disabled people and Eurovision songwriters, but it also makes room for those who hate them.
How tolerant could a school possibly be?
Coláiste Eoin is the school in Dublin that cancelled a workshop by Shout Out, a workshop designed to educate young people about homophobic bullying.   Apparently, after complaints from “a number” of parents, they decided to – in their words – postpone the workshop to allow room for the other side of the argument.
Think about the idiocy of that statement.  The other side of homophobic bullying, as if another side of homophobic bullying existed. Read more

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