HAI e-Newsletter December 2014

e-Newsletter December 2014
In this issue:

First Sunday Meeting – 7 December
You are warmly invited to attend the First Sunday Meeting which will take place in Buswell’s Hotel on 7 December from 4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.  This is a social event, and will be a great opportunity to meet new members and catch up with old friends. Refreshments will be served.

HAI Stand at the GPO 
The next outing of the new HAI stand at the GPO will take place on 13 December from 12 pm to 2 pm. All members who would like to lend their support would be most welcome!
Please note that normally we meet on the third Saturday of the month, but it was felt that 20 December was too close to Christmas.
Because They Were Not Baptised
Have you encountered difficulties securing a place for your child in a local school because they were not baptised?Is it your experience that it is easier to get children into school in Ireland if they are baptised? Or are adequate alternatives/arrangements available?Did you face a difficult decision to baptise or not baptise your child? And has this decision made any difference to your child’s access to education?

Freelance reporter Naomi Linehan is hoping to speak with you about your experiences. Please get in touch via email: [email protected]

*Participants can remain anonymous if they so wish.

RTE Documentary on One: A Humanist Milestone
RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday 6th [email protected] 2pm
Repeat Sunday 7th December @ 7pm
Humanist ceremonies have seen a hundred percent increase in Ireland in the past year as a growing number of people choose to celebrate the milestones of life in a non-religious way.
Producer Sarah Blake has made a documentary following Siobhán Walls as she trains to become a Humanist celebrant under the guidance of Director of Ceremonies, Brian Whiteside.  We find out what it takes to become a Humanist Celebrant and what Humanist ceremonies are all about.
The programme will be available for podcast or download on the Documentary on One website
Siobhán Walls

Contributions from Members
If you have constructive comments or feedback on this e-Newsletter, Board meetings, the organisation in general, and/or are able to contribute to the goals of the HAI in any way, please let us know.
And if you have news items or links you would like to share with other HAI members, please send them for possible inclusion in the e-Newsletter by the 27th of the month.
We would very much welcome your contributions!
The email address is [email protected]

News Bytes
From the Irish Times
Launch of a book by Una Mullally the fight for marriage equality 
Patrick Semple writes about changes in religious attitudes over the last sixty years
Susan McKay pays tribute to the social justice campaigner, Inez McCormack
Jennifer McConnell writes about troubling societal attitudes to rape and consent
From the Guardian
Philip Pullman on William Blake and poetry 
From The Journal.ie
Niall McGlynn  writes about the the militarisation of American police

Chaplaincy News
The Humanist Chaplaincy continues to be engaged with the HSE through its ‘Multi-Faith Healthcare Chaplaincy Council’. Although the name of this Council refers to Multi-Faith, we have made our case that those of no religion or of secular beliefs be equally accommodated. The Council’s first task was to establish a subgroup to arrive at the terms of reference for its work. Willie Collins and Nic Johnson participated in that subgroup.
Norma McElligott, Humanist Chaplain, and Nic Johnson attended  the second of the HSE Chaplaincy Council meetings where the terms of reference were reviewed. One of the topics discussed was the definition of a chaplain. Seems each group has their own way of looking at what the chaplain does with respect to ‘spiritual health’. The HSE has now undertaken to work on a definition.
The Chaplaincy is also addressing the role of state-paid chaplains in the education system as well as in the defence forces. Members who have an interest or would like to help out in these areas as well as in the HSE may contact Nic Johnson at [email protected].
Paddy McDermott, a member of the Chaplaincy committee, made a written submission to
the Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Defence.
The submission outlined what humanism is and how it operates.The main aim of the submission was to seek recognition in providing a chaplaincy service to the Garda Siochána and Defence Forces. This chaplaincy service would be on a par with that  provided by the faith organisations.The submission has been acknowledged by the secretary of the Dail Committee and she indicated that the submission would be brought to the attention of the Committee.
Norma McElligott in her capacity as Humanist Chaplain had a meeting with Dr. Ian Pickup, Head of Student Engagement at UCC.  She was cordially received and is hopeful of progressing the issue in January 2015.
The meeting concerned the possibility of including a Humanist Chaplain on the list of chaplains available to students in UCC. The purpose  is to assure that students who are non-religious have the option of accessing a non-religious chaplain. This is fundamental to Humanist philosophy, offering choice in a spirit of tolerance and inclusion.
Report by Nic Johnson, Director of Chaplaincy Services

Local Humanist Groups
The first meeting took place recently in Kilkenny for members in Kilkenny and neighbouring counties. Contact Peter Deevy on 087 2570855 for information about the next meeting. 
Isolde Carmody would like to gauge interest in setting up a North-West local group, covering Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon.  She would be happy to coordinate with others if there is interest.  Her contact details are [email protected] or 086 8820445.
A group of people interested in setting up a new local Humanist group in Cork have met twice recently.  Details of further meetings are on http://corkhumanists.weebly.com/ or you can contact Geraldine O’Neill on 086 812 8892.
North Coast Humanists meet every second Tuesday of the month at 6. 30 pm in the foyer of Lodge Hotel, Coleraine. New faces are welcome. For more information, contact: [email protected]  or 07818036404.
The Mid-West Humanists group includes people from Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary who meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 20:00 in Limerick – the Absolute Hotel, Sir Harrys Mall, Limerick. Meeting notice at www.midwesthumanists.com. For more information contact Peter O’Hara on 086 8155102 or email [email protected].
Serving Humanists in Galway and surrounding areas, Humanists West meet in Galway city on the last Sunday of each month. The venue from Sunday 26 October 2014 will be the Cottage Bar, 76 Salthill Road Lower, Galway. The meetings start at 1.00 p.m. For more information contact Garry O’Lochlainn on [email protected] or 087 2222726.

Living Wills
Advanced Healthcare Directive
Advance directives are written legal documents by which patients express their wishes about the kind of health care they want to receive in the event they become unable to make their own treatment decisions. This usually means if he or she is physically or mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to makes these desires known. They are designed to allow competent patients the opportunity to guide future health care decisions. Advance directives include living wills and medical powers of attorney, sometimes called durable powers of attorney. It takes the decision away from family members, thus reducing their stress at a vulnerable time.
More information and downloads are available from http://www.worldrtd.net/organization/living-wills-trust-lwt or contact Daphne Wynne, 01 2802879, for further information.

Humanist Association of Ireland  •  34B Royal Terrace West  •  Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin Ireland