Shared Island Humanist Conference_Email version

Shared Island Humanist Conference 2024

The first Shared Island Humanist Conference, a collaborative event between Northern Ireland Humanists and the Humanist Association of Ireland, takes place 6-8 September in the Midlands Park Hotel in Portlaoise.

Under the theme of Unlocking Us, we look forward to an enriching exchange of ideas and experiences that promote humanist values and foster shared understanding across our humanist communities north and south of the border. Highlights include:

  • Education: Insights into the challenges of education on the island of Ireland
  • Assisted dying: Ethics, legality, and personal experiences
  • Secularism: Debating its role and impact in today’s society
  • Storytelling: Sharing humanist narratives that inspire and connect us

We’ll be joined by a selection of scientists, historians, campaigners, politicians and researchers - along with some special guests to entertain and fascinate us on the Friday and Saturday evenings! Details of speakers will be updated later.


  • Full Weekend Ticket: Special early bird price €149, which includes evening events on 6 and 7 September, lunch on 7 September, and tea and coffee throughout the conference (Early bird price available until 30th June, after which full Price €175 applies).
  • Gala dinner (Saturday night) €60.00


Special rates have been agreed with the hotel for accommodation for conference attendees. Rooms can be booked directly with the hotel and the rates include breakfast.

  • Friday 6th September
    Single bedroom rate - €144.00
    Twin bedroom rate - €174.00
  • Saturday 7th September
    Single bedroom rote - €l54.00
    Twin bedroom rate - €184.00

Portlaoise offers a variety of accommodation options to suit all preferences and budgets. Other options include

Maldron Hotel Portlaoise

The Killeshin Hotel

Ivyleigh House

AirBNB options from €37 per night

These options ensure that all conference attendees will find a comfortable and convenient place to stay during their visit to Portlaoise.

This project is part-funded by the Government of Ireland, through the Shared Island Civic Society Fund.


Laois is Ireland’s strategically best placed county, at the heart of the national transport network and within an hour of Dublin, the county benefits from excellent connectivity and ensures rapid access to anywhere in Ireland, with motorways to all leading cities. Portlaoise is positioned near the intersection of the M7 and M8 motorways (connecting Dublin, Cork and Limerick), with the N80 linking Laois to the M6 (connecting to Athlone and Galway, and Rosslare Port in the Southeast). In addition, three strategic rail corridors pass through the county and nationwide bus services operate regularly to and from Laois.

There are 78 trains daily and buses leave every hour 24/7 to/from Portlaoise to Dublin City and Dublin airport.

For rail services, see

For bus services, see,, and



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