President of Ireland Michael D.Higgins marks 25 years of the Humanist Association of Ireland










President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins welcomed representatives of the Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) to Aras an Uachtarain to mark the organisations 25th Anniversary today [19/11/18]. President Higgins was the first President of Ireland to include humanists in the official inauguration ceremony in 2011, a practice continued at the recent inauguration.


“The President’s commitment to the inclusion of people of no religion is significant, and warmly welcomed by the HAI,” said Steve Rawson, Chairperson Humanist Association of Ireland. “At a time of deep uncertainty globally, we are proud that our President is a champion of human rights, equality and kindness.”

“As Humanist values become more mainstream in Irish society, today is an important day to acknowledge the work of our founding volunteers, who were very much in the minority 25 year ago. It is also a day to celebrate the new generation of humanist leaders who are striving for a more equal Ireland.” said Noeleen Hartigan, CEO.


Founded in 1993, the HAI is a community of people who believe in humanist principles and aspire to a fair, balanced, ethical and responsible secular society.


The HAI advocates for the equal treatment of people of no religion by the State and provides a forum for individuals and families to meet, share experiences and develop their humanist ideals.


HAI accredited celebrants are the only secular celebrants with the right to legally solemnize marriages in the Republic of Ireland. Humanist funerals, baby namings and coming of age ceremonies are increasingly chosen as alternatives to religious rituals.


HAI also provide educational material, school speakers and outreach in the form of chaplaincy.


One in ten people in Ireland identify themselves as ‘non-religious’, the largest grouping after Roman Catholics. There are more non-religious than all those of other faiths combined.



Photos from Maxwell


For further information contact:

Noeleen Hartigan, CEO HAI 087 61 67 689

Steve Rawson, Chairperson HAI 087 235 7551