‘We support each other in life’:  Brian Whiteside (left) and Brian Mooney. Photograph: Eric Luke

Brian Whiteside has been director of ceremonies for the Humanist Association of Ireland since 2002, when he ‘sold out of business’ and retired earl(...)

‘When our national school system was set up in 1831 it was to be a secular system where all children would be educated together. What a wonderful aspiration! But look how it ended up. In years to come people will look back and exclaim with horror: “You mean in the old days in Ireland Protestants and Catholics were educated separately?”.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Four years after then Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, set up the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, the Catholic Church h(...)

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has signalled a willingness to make further concessions to teacher unions in talks today to avert a third strike date.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has signalled a willingness to make further concessions to teacher unions in talks today to avert a third strik(...)

“There is a new reality that has to be addressed. One third of couples are getting married in non-religious ceremonies. It’s reasonable to ask what sort of schools they want for their children.” File photograph:  Dave Thompson/PA Wire

School patrons should be banned from seeking baptism certificates or other proof of a child’s religious affiliation in managing admissions, the Humani(...)

Wedding: the couple mix sand at their humanist ceremony, which was celebrated by Brian Whiteside. Photograph: Daniel Kowalczyk/DK Photo

Tracey Wade-Greally and her husband, Conor Greally, are one of the couples whose choice of marriage ceremony has doubled the number of humanist weddin(...)

Humanist Association of Ireland’s  Dick Spicer: says the clear increase in demand for humanist services   is proof of the need to continually survey the educational needs of parents.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The State has witnessed a 100 per cent increase in humanist ceremonies over the past 12 months, with some 1,000 events taking place this year.Most of (...)

In its latest report, the UN committee told Ireland to do more to provide non- denominational schools and Atheist Ireland said it was “self- serving for Educate Together, at the expense of possible non-denominational schools” to use this recommendation to “to plead for Government funding”.

Patron de jour Educate Together has been under attack from an unlikely quarter these days. Atheist Ireland has accused the organisation of misl(...)

Weddings must  take place at a location easily identifiable with an address and open to the public at reasonable times.

The number of non-religious marriages taking place in the State has increased significnatly, according to official figures which will be published tod(...)

Senators Ivana Bacik and Jillian van Turnhout  voting as members of the Convention on the Constitution  on whether the offence of blasphemy should be kept as it is in the Constitution. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill

The constitutional offence of blasphemy should be replaced with a new general provision to include incitement to religious hatred, the constitutional (...)

Setting out  options available to the constitutional convention’s 100 members, Dr Eoin O’Dell of Trinity College Dublin said the relevant section of the Constitution - Article 40.6.1(i) - could be left as it is or amended by removing the reference to “blasphemous” matter. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ireland’s crime of blasphemy is a “dead letter” that cannot be prosecuted, the constitutional convention has heard. Dr Neville Cox of Trinity C(...)