Humanist Association of Ireland

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HAI logo.

The Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) is a Republic of Ireland secular humanist organisation that was founded in 1993 to promote Humanism, which they describe as:

an ethical philosophy of life, based on a concern for humanity in general, and for human individuals in particular. This view of life combines reason with compassion. It is for those people who base their interpretation of existence on the evidence of the natural world and its evolution, and not on belief in a supernatural power.[1][2]

It hosts an annual Darwin Day lecture in Trinity College Dublin and holds regular public meetings.

The HAI is also active in providing Humanist alternatives to traditional wedding, baptism and funeral ceremonies.[3]

The HAI is a member organisation of the European Humanist Federation and is affiliated to the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). The official symbol of the HAI is the Happy Human.

Owen Sheehy-Skeffington, son of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington helped to set up the organisation.[4]

In April 2009 the Association started an advertising campaign on the DART against religious oaths of office for Irish judges and presidents.[5]

Dick Spicer, the then chairman, has criticised the educational system, claiming that it discriminates against non-believers.[6] He resigned as chairman of the board of HAI in July 2010.[7]

In November 2010 the Association objected to a pilot programme called "Goodness me, Goodness you" on the grounds that it separated children into believers and non-believers at an early age.[8] They said that faith classes should take place outside school hours.[8]


  1. ^ Humanist Association of Ireland official site - about the HAI Archived 2010-03-07 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Unknown (22 February 2015). "ur 256,000 (and counting) atheists, agnostics, humanists and non-religious". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 May 2015. According to Whiteside, the 1,000-member Humanist Association of Ireland gives a voice to the growing number of what he calls 'people who choose to lead an ethical life outside of religion'.
  3. ^ HAI official site - ceremonies Archived 2010-01-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^
  5. ^ Humanists launch campaign against judicial religious oaths, Patsy McGarry, The Irish Times, 4 April 2009, retrieved 22 April 2009
  6. ^ New school model still tramples on rights of the non-religious, Dick Spicer, The Irish Times, 14 April 2009, retrieved 22 April 2009.
  7. ^ Patsy McGarry (19 July 2010). "Spicer resigns as humanist leader over religion in schools row". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 September 2010.
  8. ^ a b Walshe, John (16 November 2010). "Row over teaching of religion in primary schools' 'experiment'". Irish Independent. Retrieved 14 December 2010.

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