Secularism and Oireachtas prayers


Sir, – Religion is essentially a private matter. Unfortunately it becomes tribal all too easily.

My grandmother, who was intensely religious, when sitting down to Sunday lunch, used to say a private prayer to herself. She did not expect all others at the table to do the same. They could do so if they wished.

Perhaps she had the idea that praying out loud might be seen as being a bit self-righteous, but I think not.

She saw religion as being private and did not need to have others pray for her. – Yours, etc,


Dundrum, Dublin 16.

Sir, – The increasing secularisation of Ireland is evidenced in the 2016 census, by the rise of those declaring no religion to 10 per cent of the population compared to 6 per cent in 2011. At 468,421 “no religion” is now the second-largest religious categorisation.

Given that the census form tends to be filled in by the head of the house, who will assume answers for the rest of the household, the likelihood is that the census understates the number who would declare themselves of no religion if asked to fill out the form themselves.

It is time our politics, education and social institutions reflected this growing secularisation. – Yours, etc,



Co Donegal.