December 2016 e-Newsletter

Gratitude Walk on Christmas Day in the Phoenix Park
One of our members, Emma Sides, and her husband, Joseph Little are organising what they are calling a Gratitude Walk on Christmas Day in the Phoenix Park. The idea is that, hopefully!, a group of people will meet at 11am in the Phoenix Park (beside the entrance to the Zoo) and then walk up as far as the Áras and back again. 
Emma Sides says:
Depending on numbers at some point we will stop and take time to share some of the things we are grateful for – ie our health, living in a safe country, a roof over our heads, not having the in-laws this year, our friends, our families, etc etc.

This is not an official HAI event – but may be of interest to HAI members who would like to do something in the spirit of ‘community’ on Christmas Day. It’s not a specifically non-religious event either but open to anyone who wants to come and join us and who wishes to stop for a moment and give thanks – whether that be to the universe or to God. 
We do our very best to celebrate Christmas in as non-materialistic a way as possible and try to see it as being a time to reflect and be grateful for what we have, to connect with our children, as well as looking on it, in the spirit of the Winter Solstice, as a lovely festival to get us through the long winter months (and, quite frankly, any excuse to decorate the house with fairy lights and flashing fibre-optic Santas…).
We would be delighted if you wished to join us!
Emma & Joseph
Please RSVP to [email protected] or feel free to just show up. Unless it’s absolutely lashing out of the heavens or we’re snowed in we’ll be there!

Media & Publicity Group Update

Left to right: Áine Crawley, Amanda Wilkinson, Gerry Wilson, Lena Zwolak and Steve Rawson
The Media & Publicity Group, now known as the M & P Group, is happy to welcome its newest member Lena Zwolak. Lena supports Kilda Taylor in producing the monthly newsletter and offers support in IT. 
The group is also delighted that one of its members, Steve Rawson, has been elected to the Board. Steve has a wealth of experience in media and publicity; he runs his own PR consultancy specialising in campaigns, media relations, public affairs and event management. He will be a valuable member on the Board.
If you would like to get involved in the group, which meets up once a month on a Sunday morning, please contact the Chairperson [email protected].

Diversity in Education Conference – 8 December
The Intercultural and Diversity Education Centre-Ireland (IDEC-Ireland) is hosting its seventh annual conference to mark Human Rights Day. This year’s conference will be moderated by Joe Little, RTE’s Religious and Social Affairs Correspondent and the Keynote Speaker is Chinedu Onyejelem, journalist and owner publisher of Metro Éireann.The conference theme, Diversity in Education- Raising the Bar: Ireland’s Untapped Potential highlights the importance of diversity in the Irish education system. This will be illustrated by showcasing models of educational approaches facilitated by representatives from Yellow Flag, Educate Together, Wezesha, DICE, Cities of Sanctuary and Green Spiral.
The conference will include a variety of participatory activities including World Café and a panel discussion.  Workshops will be informal dialogical sessions, facilitated by representatives from education, community and entreprise. The conference aims to explore positive outcomes and challenges of living and learning diversity with a view to harnessing the learning.      
IDEC-Ireland is a partnership of statutory agencies, community organisations and higher education institutions. IDEC-Ireland was founded in 2010 in response to gaps identified within the sphere of interculturalism and diversity, with a view to addressing these issues in communities. Work to date has taken place through the exchange of information, development of research and hosting conferences addressing critical areas of concern for communities.  
Since 2010, IDEC-Ireland has hosted conferences to mark International Human Rights Day, using it as an opportunity to illustrate successes and failures of the Irish State in relation to Human Rights.  It has been illustrated at our previous conferences that recognition and celebration of diversity is a crucial aspect of healthy communities. See

HAI Stand at the GPO
The next outing of the new HAI stand at the GPO will take place on 17 December from 12 pm to 2 pm. All members who would like to lend their support would be most welcome! 

First Sunday Meeting 8 January 2017: 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 Terry Saunders at email [email protected]

Local Humanist Groups
Cork Humanists meet on the First Tuesday of the month in the Bar BOQ, Bridge Street, Cork at 7.30 pm.  Details are also on or you can contact Geraldine O’Neill on 086 812 8892.

Humanists West serve Galway and surrounding areas, and 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 Jenny Fox-Lennon at [email protected]
Kilkenny plus members from Laois, Offaly, Carlow, and Kildare meet on the second Friday of the month at 8.00 p.m. in The Bróg Maker, Castlecomer Road, Kilkenny. Contact Fachtna Roe on [email protected] for further details.  Please note change of location!
Mid-West Humanists 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].

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.
North Dublin Humanist Community:
December meeting of the North Dublin Humanist Community – Sally O’Kelly has booked a table for 5-10 people on Monday 19th December at 7pm in Hedigans. If you would like to come to dinner then please can you RSVP to Sally in good time so that she can adjust booking accordingly ([email protected]). And for those of us who can’t make dinner or for whom that’s just not their thing please just come along at 8.30pm (please note the slightly later time to allow us get dessert in!) and we’ll have a Christmas drink (and we can talk about how we celebrate Christmas or not, as the case may be, and what this time of year means to us). We look forward to seeing you. Emma Sides ([email protected]
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.


South Dublin Humanist Community will be having their Winter Solstice Party on 21 December in Hardy’s Bar, Royal Marine Hotel from 7.00pm. Informal get together with finger food provided and buy-your-own drinks. After the great turn-out at our Summer Solstice Party it is hoped that as many of you as possible will come to this get-together. RSVP to Brian Whiteside at  [email protected] or phone 086-384 8940.

Waterford Humanists meet 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 further details.
West Cork Humanists : please email [email protected] for information.

Westport Humanists meet in the Park Terrace Wine 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.

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 25th of the month.We would very much welcome your contributions!The email address is [email protected]

Living Wills
Advanced Healthcare DirectiveAdvance 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