December 2015 e-Newsletter

Living Wills

First Sunday Meeting 6 December Xmas Celebration

SliderXmas2015The December meeting is traditionally given over to social activities, accompanied by mince pies etc. Last year a few reading were introduced and were well-received so we propose to build on that a bit. There will readings of various kinds — all more or less seasonal. The idea is to spend about an hour on that and to allow time for any other topics people want to raise, as well as plenty of time for chat and goodies. Anyone who would like to offer a song, a reading or anything else, please contact Alan Tuffery (086 162 6988)


Report of AGM 1 November 2015:
The report of the AGM is only available to members


Board Report – 9 November:
The report of the BOD is only available to members.

Let Me In! International Human Rights Day Demonstration – 10 December, Leinster House

enewsDec2015BoySouth-East Humanists are organising a demonstration to mark International Human Rights Day on  December 10th outside Leinster House at 16:00.
The theme of the protest is Let Me In! which draws a parallel between children unable to enter their local National School, and the non-religious being excluded from some state jobs. Amongst the jobs is Uachtarán, which position is barred to those who will not take a religious oath. The bars of Leinster House will be symbolically shaken by as many Humanists, Atheists, and others who oppose inequality and are willing to attend.

Letters will be delivered to the Minister for Education and the Minister for Justice and Equality.

It is also intended to deliver letters ‘signed’ by children. Please contact [email protected] if you can help with this.

Thereafter all Oireachtas members will be surveyed electronically about equality in education. They will be asked to give a formal commitment to help the cause of equality, and results published on the web.

Volunteer effort permitting, all candidates not already in the Dáil will be also surveyed.

The principal objective of the December 10 demonstration is to begin making equality in education a doorstep issue in the forthcoming election. For many parts of the country, this will continue to be a public education and awareness-raising project.

That can only happen if there is a large turn-out for events like this.

Facebook event: 

HAI Stand at the GPO 
The next outing of the new HAI stand at the GPO will take place on 12 December from 12 pm to 2 pm. All members who would like to lend their support would be most welcome!  Please note this is the second Saturday of the month, not the usual third Saturday which was too close to Xmas.GPO StandUpdated

First Sunday Meetings: Are You Happy with the Ashling?

The Ashling Hotel was chosen on a trial basis as the new venue for the First Sunday Meetings because it is wheelchair accessible, and near Heuston Station and the M50 which make it easier for members who are travelling from outside Dublin.

It was agreed to review the Ashling after six months, so we are asking members for feedback on the Ashling as a venue.  If you have any views, positive or negative, or any suggestions, please email [email protected]

First Sunday Meeting 3rd January 2016: A Time of Remembrance

We invite everyone to join us in January to remember in a humanist way those members and friends we have lost.  Last year’s remembrance meeting was a “healing and positive experience” for those who attended. Again we are seeking musicians, singers and speakers to participate.

If you have any queries, or wish to have anyone particularly remembered please contact Alan Tuffery at email [email protected]

News Bytes
Irish Times
Being a non-Catholic in a Catholic school

Diarmuid Ferriter says schools system is blatantly sectarian

Joe Humphreys asks if science is being skewed by a gender bias?

Una Mullally says men should stop whining about gender quotas

British Humanist Association
British government broke the law in excluding humanism from school curriculum

Abortion laws in Northern Ireland breach international human rights

The Guardian
Jeff Sparrow asks why the new atheists are such jerks?

Iris Murdoch is “promiscuous”; Ted Hughes is “nomadic” – why the double standard?


Local Humanist Groups

Local Humanist Groups
Monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of every month in the Reference Room, Waterford City Library, Lady lane at 6.00 p.m.  Contact Teresa Graham on [email protected] for details of further meetings.

West Cork
Please email [email protected] for details and directions.

Monthly meetings are held in the Cobbler’s Bar of the Wyatt Hotel at the Octagon in Westport at 12 o’clock on the second Sunday of every month.  The group has a facebook page. Contact Séamus O’Connell on 087 245 35 36 or email [email protected] for further details.

North-West Humanists have changed their meeting place to Café Paradiso @Carrick Cineplex (behind Supermac’s), Sligo Road,Carrick on Shannon,Co. Roscommon.

The meeting time has been slightly extended, now 2.30pm to 5pm, still on the third Sunday of every month. The new venue is comfortable and quiet, with quality tea, coffee, snacks (including popcorn!) and a selection of wines. It is closer to the train station than the town-centre. For more information, directions and enquiries, please e-mail [email protected], text or phone 086 8820445.

Members from Laois, Offaly, Carlow, Kilkenny and Kildare meet on the second Friday of the month at 8.00 p.m. in the Kilford Arms, John Street, Kilkenny.  Contact Fachtna Roe on [email protected] for further details.  Please note change of location!

Details of Cork Humanists’ meetings are on 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]com  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 Harry’s Mall, Limerick. Meeting notice at 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. Please note the change of venue: we are now meeting in the Anno Santo Hotel, Threadneedle Road, Salthill, Galway.  The meetings start at 12 noon. For more information contact Garry O’Lochlainn on [email protected] or 087 2222726.

 News From Local Groups

South Dublin Humanist Community


This meeting was attended by 45 people who all expressed enthusiasm for this new local group. The plan is to hold a regular Mid-Month Monday Meeting starting on 18th January.  A mix of talks, discussions and social interaction is hoped for with many people keen to meet regularly in the locality on a weekday evening rather than in the Ashling Hotel on a Sunday afternoon.  As the HAI grows it is good to provide this type of choice to our members.  The topic and venue for the January meeting will be announced shortly.

For further information please contact: Brian Whiteside  [email protected]   086-3848940


Wateford Group – Teresa Graham reports:

At the November meeting of the Waterford Humanists we watched a short video of Prof. A.C. Grayling discussing  secular schooling. Grayling was amusing, informative and provocative. We really enjoyed his presentation and it was followed by a very lively and interesting discussion on the topic.

Among the ideas which emerged was that HAI should develop a moral and ethical module to be taught in secular schools in place of religion. This, we felt, would encourage young people to behave in a way which would enable them to be good citizens based on humanist principles. We realised that HAI has collaborated with Educate Together schools to develop a way to teach children about different religions and philosophical perspectives, but it was felt by some of us that it should go further.

Another suggestion was that humanists should develop some sort of gathering to enable people to get together to commemorate or to react to events such as the terrorist killings in Paris last week. It was noted that the event was marked in Paris by a mass in Notre Dame Cathedral, and a lack of a similar facility to express solidarity and sympathy without involving religion was discussed. We were interested to find out if any other members felt likewise. We await reaction.

Xmas Cards

We are so fortunate to have highly talented graphic artists within our membership. Alan Pepper designed our own ‘xmas’ / seasonal card for us, and they are available in packs of 10 with envelopes to our members.




€9 – per pack of 10 cards and envelopes, blank for your own message inside.




We are happy to post them, please contact daf wynne at   [email protected]


Contribution 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]


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 is available from or contact Daphne Wynne, 01 2802879, for further information.