Taking God out of oath

Sir, – The European Court of Human Rights judgment (“Shortall to table Bill on taking God out of oath”, November 19th) was made on very narrow legal grounds. It does not in the slightest reflect the reality in modern Ireland, just as with the fact that one branch of one particular religion has control of over 90 per cent of our State-funded primary schools, which merely tolerate the children of those who do not subscribe to it.

Non-Catholics who are citizens of the country deserve more than tolerance. They deserve equality. They are entitled to the same freedoms as those who claim adherence to Christianity. Should an agnostic or an atheist become a judge or the president they should not be obliged to swear a solemn oath to a being in the existence of which they have no confident belief. It will be a shameful act if the Government opposes Róisín Shortall’s bid to have a referendum on the matter of oaths for State appointments.

– Yours, etc,



Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.