Michael Nugent

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For the American football placekicker, see Mike Nugent. For the American soccer player, see Mike Nugent (soccer). For the Australian Paralympic athlete, see Mike Nugent (athlete).
Michael Nugent
Michael Nugent
Born (1961-06-01) 1 June 1961 (age 55)
Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Education St. Aidan's C.B.S.
Dublin Institute of Technology
Occupation Writer
Known for Writing I, Keano; Challenging Irish blasphemy law
Title Chairperson, Atheist Ireland
Website http://www.michaelnugent.com
http://twitter.com/micknugent

Michael Nugent (born 1 June 1961) is an Irish writer and activist. He has written, co-written or contributed to seven books and the comedy musical play I, Keano. He has campaigned on many political issues, often with his late wife Anne Holliday, and he is chairperson of the advocacy group Atheist Ireland. He argues that atheism provides a better model of reality, and a better basis for morality, than believing in gods; that atheists can enjoy the benefits that many people get from religion, without the harmful effects; and that the state should be secular, promoting neither religion nor atheism.[1] He writes a blog about atheism, reason, skepticism and happiness, and he supports Bohemians and Leeds United football clubs.

Early life[edit]

Nugent was completing a project on the Gospels in primary school when he started to question the "comic book" nature of the Bible.[2] He attended St. Aidan's C.B.S. secondary school in Whitehall in Dublin. He graduated in visual communications in 1983 at the College of Marketing and Design, now part of the Dublin Institute of Technology. He has since addressed graduate events at both institutions.[3][4][5] In 1983, he was elected president of the college students' union and students' representative on the Dublin City Council Vocational Education Committee.[6][7] In 1984, he was defeated when he ran for the post of education officer in the Union of Students in Ireland, in opposition to Joe Duffy, then USI president, who is now a broadcaster with RTÉ. He then took a course in product development, and set up as a freelance designer.[8]

Marriage[edit]

In 2009 Nugent married his longtime partner Anne Holliday, after she was diagnosed with cancer. She died on 9 April 2011, aged 57. Holliday and Nugent were founder members in 1988 of New Consensus, the group which called for the revision of the Republic's territorial claim on the North and devolved government for the people of Northern Ireland based on "mutual respect, civil liberty and freely given allegiance", and they helped to organise the Peace Train campaign to end disruption of the north-south rail link by the IRA. Holliday was also a Simon Community volunteer, a founder member of the Limerick chapter of the Irish Georgian Society, campaigned to save Wood Quay, and was active in residents rights issues. She worked as a secretary at the law firm Matheson Ormsby Prentice, a Dáil secretary for TDs Michael Keating and Roger Garland, personal assistant to National Museum Director Pat Wallace, in media relations and special projects at the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism, and in the Tánaiste's office at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.[9] Holliday donated her body to medical research and, in 2014, her body was buried in the Dublin medical Schools plot in Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin. After a request from Nugent, the Dublin Medical Schools agreed to change the religious wording on the headstone over the plot to a secular wording, so that it would be inclusive of people of all religious beliefs and none.[10] In 2015 Nugent wrote a tribute to his wife in the Irish Times in which he also wrote about coping with bereavement as an atheist.[11]

Writing[edit]

Nugent has written, co-written or contributed to seven books and the comedy musical play I, Keano.

Works[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Nugent, with Arthur Mathews and Paul Woodfull, co-wrote I, Keano, a comedy musical play about footballer Roy Keane leaving the Republic of Ireland national football team before the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It was presented as a mock-epic melodrama about an ancient Roman legion preparing for war.[12][13] In its first two years, over half a million people watched it, generating €10m ($13m) in ticket sales.[14] It was updated and revived in 2015 after Roy Keane became assistant coach of the Ireland football team.[15]

Books[edit]

Dear John was a number one best-seller in Ireland,[16][17][18] co-written by Nugent and Sam Smyth.[19] By writing prank letters, Nugent and Smyth convinced then Taoiseach Albert Reynolds to help the fictitious 'John' seek a grant from the Industrial Development Authority to produce dog bowls modelled on dinner plates; prompted Charles Haughey to meet 'John' to help fund a 'Bring Back Charlie' campaign, and provoked Pope John Paul II to pray for 'John's' children because his kids put condoms on the family chess-set bishops.[20]

The Irish Times included Ireland on the Internet among its top ten computer books of 1995.[21]

That's Ireland – A Miscellany, co-written with Damien Corless, was a hardback best-seller[22] that included such trivia as that three in every ten TDs since 1922 have been called some variation of Paddy, Mick, Sean or Seamus, and that when the Pope held his youth Mass in Galway in 1979, each diocese was asked to send a baker in white overalls and a lame person with a stick or crutches.[23][24][25]

In Absurdly Yours, Nugent pitched a new series of prank letters, ranging from planes without seats (for Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary) to scaffolding on Mount Everest (the Nepalese Government responded it would be "inappropriate"). The FAI offered to help with his invention of a left-footed football, but the GAA replied that they could detect a wind-up from 1,000 yards.[26]

In Towards Mutual Ground - Pluralism, Religious Education and Diversity in Irish Schools, Nugent and Jane Donnelly contributed a chapter titled ‘Only secular schools respect every person’s human rights equally.’[27][28]

In Who Owns Marriage? - A Conversation about Religion, Government, Marriage and a Civil Society, edited by Nick Park of the Irish Evangelical Alliance, Nugent critiqued evangelical arguments about same sex marriage from a secular perspective.[29]

Activism[edit]

In 1986, Nugent joined the newly founded Progressive Democrats, working with Michael Keating TD, a friend since his VEC days. He soon left the PDs, saying that he was disillusioned with the clientilist system and that he believed in the need to tackle the Northern Ireland problem on a cross-party basis.[30]

In the late 1980s, Nugent was spokesperson for a campaign against the conviction of two Tallaght youths for robbery and assault. In 1990, Taoiseach Charles Haughey assured the youths' families and Nugent that new evidence would be considered.[31][32] In 1993, the government announced a new law to enable this to happen and, in 2001, the case was declared a miscarriage of justice.[33][34]

New Consensus[edit]

In 1988, Nugent co-founded the New Consensus peace group with his partner Anne Holliday and Michael Fitzpatrick. He also chaired the group. Its launch meeting in April 1989 announced its aims as challenging ambivalence about murder in Northern Ireland, and promoting a democratic, pluralist and non-sectarian society with integrated education, a bill of rights and revision of Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish Constitution.[35]

In 1992, after an IRA bomb killed eight Protestant workmen in Teebane Cross, Nugent and six other men protested by chaining themselves across the entrance of the Sinn Féin office in Dublin.[36] New Consensus also organised peace rallies and pickets of Sinn Féin and UDA offices, and collections of flowers after paramilitary killings.[37][38][39]

Sinn Féin regularly said that New Consensus did not protest against violence by the security forces in Northern Ireland.[40] Nugent responded falsely that they protested when agents of the British or Irish States acted outside the law[41] When New Consensus picketed the Belfast offices of the loyalist UDA, some said that it was only in response to criticism of imbalance. Also some single-issue peace groups, such as Peace 93 and the Peace Train Organisation, distanced themselves from the political aims of New Consensus.[42]

In 1970 Sinn Féin had split into Provisional and Official Sinn Féin, with Official Sinn Féin later becoming the Workers' Party and then Democratic Left before merging with the Labour Party, whichs mirrored a split within the IRA, which split into the Official IRA and the Provisional IRA. The Official IRA officially decommissioned in 2010. Although the group declined in support from 1972, it remained linked to Official Sinn Féin and was frequently accused of committing robberies and fraud to fund the party.[43][44] Some political commentators such as Vincent Browne and Paddy Prendeville said that the Workers' Party and Democratic Left had an attitude to Northern Ireland that was close to Ulster unionism.[45] New Consensus was regularly derided by Sinn Féin and a number of commentators who stated that the group was a front for the Workers' Party. During pickets members of Sinn Féin would challenge picketers about the Official IRA and killings and acts associated with the group.[46] Both New Consensus and the parties denied this.[47]

Libel case[edit]

In 1996, Nugent, Anne Holliday and Michael Fitzpatrick won a libel action against the Irish author and historian Tim Pat Coogan and Harper Collins Publishers over a claim that "New Consensus" was an offshoot of Official Sinn Féin. The author and publishers apologised in court, stating they had made a mistake.[48][49]

Veritas[edit]

In 1992, Nugent highlighted that Veritas, a bookshop owned by the Catholic Bishops, was breaking the law by selling an anti-abortion book, Closed by Joseph Scheidler, which contained abortion clinic contact details for potential protestors.[50] Under Irish law at the time no contact details of any abortion service could be published.

Joycean home[edit]

In 1996, he and his partner Anne Holliday organised an email campaign to protest against the proposed demolition of James Joyce's childhood home in Drumcondra. The campaign received messages of support from Joyce scholars in Britain, Australia, Canada and the US, which were passed on to Dublin Corporation.[51]

Council election candidate[edit]

In 1999, he was a local election candidate for Dublin City Council, running for Fine Gael in the Ballymun-Whitehall local electoral area, but he failed to be elected.[52][53]

European Investment Bank[edit]

In 2000, Nugent helped to stop the Irish government appointing a disgraced former judge, Hugh O'Flaherty, to the European Investment Bank. The Bank accepted Nugent's argument that they had a statutory duty to consider other candidates, and he forwarded the CV of Irish Senator and business editor Shane Ross.[54][55] After public pressure, O'Flaherty withdrew his candidacy.[56]

Football related activism[edit]

Nugent supports Bohemians and Leeds United football clubs.[57] In 2002, he helped to prevent the Football Association of Ireland from selling broadcast rights for international matches to Sky television, but failed in an attempt to create a representative body for Irish football fans.[58] In 2008, he was removed as a director of Bohemian Football Club after he questioned the viability of the club's growing expenditure.[59] Two years later, the club was reported to be entering the most critical stage in its history.[60]

Atheist Ireland[edit]

Nugent is the inaugural chairperson of Atheist Ireland, an advocacy group for an ethical and secular society free from superstition and supernaturalism. Its first AGM in 2009 outlined specific aims, including the removal of references to God from the Irish constitution, the introduction of a secular education system, and a campaign to encourage people to read the Bible.[61] Nugent strongly opposed the law against blasphemous libel introduced by Justice Minister Dermot Ahern. He described it as "silly and dangerous", and argued that ideas should always be open to criticism and ridicule.[62][63] As part of the campaign, he was involved in the formation of the parody Church of Dermotology, which satirises organised religion and the concept of blasphemy,[64] and in the launch of a website opposing the bill, called Blasphemy.ie.

In 2010, when the Irish blasphemy law came into force, Atheist Ireland published a list of 25 blasphemous quotes on its website to challenge it.[65][66][67][68] The Justice Minister proposed that a referendum should be held to remove the offence of blasphemy from the Irish Constitution.[69] Nugent spoke at the 2010 Gods and Politics international atheist conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.[70] He called for the removal of the daily Angelus from RTÉ, saying that it amounted to a free advert for the Catholic Church, and he debated the issue on RTÉ radio with Roger Childs, RTÉ’s editor of religious programmes.[71][72][73] He addressed a meeting in Brussels at which the Presidents of the European Commission, European Parliament and European Council discussed the fight against poverty and social exclusion with representatives of philosophical non-confessional organisations.[74]

In 2011, Nugent criticised the question “What is your religion?” in the coming Irish census. He said the census should instead ask “Do you have a religion?” and “If so, what is it?” He asked nonreligious Irish people to tick the No Religion box.[75] He also predicted that moderate religious belief will become a minority position in many countries. He said that religion is being squeezed by science, which undermines its claims about reality, and secularism, which erodes its positions on morality.[76] Nugent was the opening speaker at the 2011 World Atheist Convention in Dublin, Ireland,[77] which adopted the Dublin Declaration on Secularism and launched Atheist Alliance International, a newly restructured umbrella group for atheists worldwide.[78] He told the convention that atheists were considered arrogant “because we do not believe that the entire universe was created for our benefit,” and because they did not believe “that the most powerful being ever created a universe of over 100 billion galaxies, each with over 100 billion stars like our sun, which existed for 14 billion years, and then picked one of the 100 billion galaxies and picked one of the 100 billion stars in that galaxy, and picked one planet revolving around that star and of the million species on that planet he picked one animal member of all those species and said: ‘I’ve really got to tell that guy to stop gathering sticks on the Sabbath’.” [79] He described a radio debate with irate Catholics protesting against an art exhibition as being "like discussing the rules of quidditch with people who believe Harry Potter was a documentary."[80] He also wrote a series of five articles for the Irish Times about atheism and its relationship to reality, morality, faith and Jesus.[81][82][83][84][85]

In 2012, Hibernia College, an online teacher-training institution in Dublin, removed slides from its religion module for primary teachers at the request of Atheist Ireland. The course notes had said that atheist humanism produced the worst horrors history has ever witnessed.[86] Nugent spoke at the 2012 European Atheist Convention in Cologne, Germany, against blasphemy and apostasy laws. He said they were silly in western states and dangerous in Islamic states.[87] He said on RTÉ that the Irish blasphemy law was influencing blasphemy debates at the United Nations and in Islamic countries.[88] Nugent spoke at the 2012 OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw, Poland, opposing discrimination against atheists and agnostics. He said that it was absurd to insist that we respect all religions and all prophets, and said that “we can respect your right to believe, while not respecting the content of your beliefs.”[89] He also published a manifesto on “ethical atheism” that sought to promote reason, critical thinking and science, natural compassion and ethics, inclusive, caring atheist groups and fair and just societies,[90] and challenged the myths that atheism is a religion or belief system based on faith and certainty, and that we need religion for meaning and morality.[91]

In 2013, Nugent told the Oireachtas health committee on abortion law to stop the unethical pattern of lawmaking by reacting to personal tragedies, and to base abortion law on human rights and compassion and not on religious doctrines.[92] He asked the Irish Tánaiste (deputy prime minister) Eamon Gilmore, who is agnostic, to refuse to swear the religious oath that he had to swear as a member of the Council of State, but Gilmore said that he had taken legal advice and that he had a constitutional obligation to swear the oath.[93] In a BBC radio debate, he defended Richard Dawkins against charges by New Humanist editor Daniel Trilling that some criticism of Islam was a cover for racist views.[94] He announced a new project in which Atheist Ireland and Educate Together were preparing lessons about atheism that would be taught in Ireland’s primary schools for the first time. He said this was necessary because the Irish education system has for too long been totally biased in favour of religious indoctrination.[95] Nugent noted that Atheist Ireland was not pushing for atheist schools, but rather pluralistic, objective alternatives to religious ones.[96]

In 2014, Nugent argued that the Louise O’Keeffe judgment at the European Court of Human Rights could begin the end of State-supported religious discrimination in Irish schools. The European Court had told the Irish State it was responsible for protecting the human rights of children while in school, regardless of whether it runs the schools directly.[97] He said the Good Friday drink ban is silly, and that people should be able to drink in the same way on any Friday as they can on any Thursday or Saturday.[98] He debated on RTÉ Radio with a Catholic Priest who said that he would not report child rape to the police if he heard about it in Confession.[99] He argued for secularism and ethical atheism and against blasphemy laws at the Freedom From Religion Convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.[100] He told TV3’s People’s Debate on homophobia that the Catholic Church is overtly homophobic, and is becoming more so as its population shifts to the global South.[101] He told Radio Kerry that the placement of a cross in Kerry Council chamber represents the promotion of the supremacy of one religion over other religions and none.[102] He and Jane Donnelly of Atheist Ireland briefed the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, before the UN questioned Ireland’s human rights record under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[103][104][105] He described Pope Francis as a pope of the global south with good PR in the global north, saying that as two in every three Catholics live in the global south, Pope Francis has to appeal to Catholics with very different values.[106] He told an RTE debate about miracles that you have a better chance of dying than being cured at Lourdes.[107]

In 2015 Nugent told RTE that the Irish blasphemy law had caused Irish media to self-censor their output, saying that he had been told before several live interviews not to say anything blasphemous.[108] He represented Atheist Ireland at the first formal meeting between an Irish Prime Minister and members of an atheist advocacy group in the history of the State, where they argued how the Constitution, education system and laws and practices systemically discriminate against atheists.[109] Speaking in Germany on the day of the Irish marriage equality referendum victory, he described the result as the start of the fall of Ireland’s religious Berlin Wall.[110] He and Jane Donnelly briefed the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, before the UN questioned Ireland’s human rights record, and told the Committee that Ireland repeatedly ignores the rights of atheists and non-Christian children in the education system.[111] He launched the Schools Equality PACT, which outlined Atheist Ireland’s plans for a fair education system. PACT is an acronym for four areas of legal change – Patronage, Access, Curriculum and Teaching.[112] When RTE unveiled a new-look 6pm TV Angelus, he argued that it is not the role of a public service broadcaster to take a Catholic call to prayer and turn it into something else.[113] A Dublin school canceled an invitation to Nugent to address its final-year students on the basis that it would clash with its Catholic ethos.[114]

In 2016 Nugent and Jane Donnelly twice briefed the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, as the UN prepared to question Ireland’s human rights record under the Covenant the Rights of the Child, and the Universal Periodic Review process.[115] When Atheist Ireland declined an invitation to take part in the Government’s commemorations of the 1916 Rising,[116] Donald Clarke of the Irish Times said that Nugent and his team could hardly have seemed more out of touch if they’d sought to ban Christmas.[117] Nugent warned that joke responses to the religion question in the census, being categorised as “not stated”, potentially contribute to an underreporting of the number of non-religious people.[118] He said Government plans to encourage the Catholic Church to transfer patronage of primary schools would make the situation worse for most families, as the Catholic Church wanted a stronger Catholic ethos in the schools they would retain.[119] He said that reducing teaching time for religion classes was not the most important issue because because schools implement the religious ethos throughout the entire school day.[120]

Right to die[edit]

In 2011 Nugent’s wife Anne Holliday died of cancer, after making plans to take her own life if she felt that she needed to.[121] In 2012, Nugent, Tom Curran and Mairin de Burca founded Right To Die Ireland, a campaign group to legalise assisted suicide in Ireland. Tom Curran is the co-ordinator of Exit International Ireland, and Máirín De Burca is a former secretary of Official Sinn Féin.[122][123] In 2013, when the Supreme Court ruled that Tom Curran’s partner Marie Fleming did not have a constitutional right to assisted suicide, Nugent said on RTÉ that the law would have to catch up with the reality that terminally ill people will take their own ethical decisions based on their own personal conscience.[124] In 2014 he told Today FM that the right to die is not merely about the act of dying, but also about the increased quality of life that comes from knowing that you have the option to end your suffering if you need to, and he told Newstalk radio that Right to Die Ireland was working with legal people and politicians to prepare a Bill on assisted dying for Dáil Éireann.[125] In 2015 he welcomed California’s vote to legalise assisted suicide, and he told BBC Radio Ulster that changes in the law in the UK and Ireland were inevitable as society became more compassionate.[126] In 2016 he told RTE that people who wanted palliative care should have the right to palliative care, that people who want to die in a way of their choosing should have that right, and that terminally ill people and their loved ones should absolutely break the law to avoid unnecessary suffering.[127]

Media and talks[edit]

Nugent has been profiled or interviewed in the Irish Times,[128] the Sunday Business Post,[129] the Sunday Independent[130] and the BBC Mundo Spanish language website.[131] He has been interviewed on various broadcast media including the BBC World Service,[132] NPR's All Things Considered,[133] and RTÉ's Prime Time,[134] Ryan Tubridy,[135] Today with Pat Kenny,[136] Spirit Moves,[137] and Seoige and O'Shea.[138]

Nugent also speaks and debates in Ireland and internationally. He has spoken in Ireland at Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Dublin Institute of Technology, University College Cork, National University of Ireland Galway and Maynooth, the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Oireachtas Health Committee. He has spoken internationally at UN human rights reviews in Geneva, Switzerland; OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meetings in Warsaw, Poland; the South Place Ethical Society and the Muslim Debate Initiative in London, England; the Gods and Politics Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2010; the World Atheist Convention in Dublin, Ireland in 2011; the European Atheist Conference in Cologne, Germany in 2012; the Oxford Union in England in 2013; the Freedom From Religion Foundation Convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA in 2014; the European Atheist Conference in Cologne, Germany in 2015; and the Rationalist International Conference in Tallinn, Estonia in 2016.[139]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Give us a state that's not religious nor atheist, but secular Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 19 October 2010
  2. ^ Our 256,000 (and counting) atheists, agnostics, humanists and non-religious Roisin Ingle, Irish Times, 4 June 2011
  3. ^ Awards night St. Aidan's C.B.S., September 2005
  4. ^ DIT end of year exhibition Irish Times, 1 June 2004
  5. ^ DIT presents the most wide-ranging graduate exhibition in Ireland Dublin Institute of Technology, 1 June 2004
  6. ^ Fees at VEC colleges to be increased by up to 125% Maev-Ann Wren, Irish Times, 29 July 1983
  7. ^ College ‘may be forced to close’ Irish Times, 1 March 1984
  8. ^ Saturday profile: a man with his own agenda Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 3 April 1993
  9. ^ Founder member of New Consensus peace group Obituary, Irish Times, 16 April 2011
  10. ^ Secular headstone placed on plot for remains donated to science Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 4 September 2014
  11. ^ How my wife’s death has helped Ireland become more inclusive, Irish Times, 11 April 2015
  12. ^ Review of I, Keano, Anthony Garvey, The Stage, 17 February 2005
  13. ^ Review of I, Keano, James Ducker, The Times, 2 March 2006
  14. ^ I, Keano still has fans in raptures Irish Examiner, 31 January 2007
  15. ^ I, Keano review: 13 years on from Saipan, biting satire is still just plain fun James Ward, Irish Daily Mirror, 31 March 2015
  16. ^ Bestsellers Irish Times, 11 December 1993
  17. ^ Bestsellers Irish Times, 8 January 1994
  18. ^ Bestsellers Irish Times, 29 January 1994
  19. ^ Dear John letters catch social pillars on the hop Tom Reddy, Sunday Independent, 8 November 1993
  20. ^ Two wits to woo Review of That's Ireland, Henry McDonald, The Observer, 1 February 2004
  21. ^ Dead trees and ink '95 Michael Cunningham, Irish Times, 14 December 1995
  22. ^ Bestsellers Sunday Independent, 7 March 2004
  23. ^ You couldn’t make it up Review of That's Ireland, Brian Boyd, Irish Times, 14 November 2003
  24. ^ Reference book of the ridiculous Review of That's Ireland, Sunday Business Post, 23 November 2003
  25. ^ Two wits to woo Review of That's Ireland, Henry McDonald, The Observer, 1 February 2004
  26. ^ You can fool some of the people Review of Absurdly Yours, Liam Mackey, Irish Examiner, 27 November 2004
  27. ^ Book launch: Toward Mutual Ground ICRE, 26 April 2013
  28. ^ Secular schools and human rights Michael Nugent website, 4 May 2013
  29. ^ Same-Sex Marriage Referendum in the Republic: Review of ‘Who Owns Marriage?’ Gladys Ganiel, Slugger O’Toole, 7 May 2015
  30. ^ Saturday profile: a man with his own agenda Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 3 April 1993
  31. ^ Haughey assures Tallaght father on son’s case Jackie Gallagher, Irish Times, 24 October 1990
  32. ^ Second man in Tallaght case released Michael Foley, Irish Times, 25 October 1990
  33. ^ Tallaght men say campaign to clear names continues Jim Dunne and Edward O'Loughlin, Irish Times, 10 April 1993
  34. ^ Court declares miscarriage of justice in Tallaght Two case RTÉ News, 20 March 2001
  35. ^ New Consensus group launches constitution Irish Times, 25 April 1989
  36. ^ Bomb protest at Sinn Fein HQ Marie O'Halloran, Irish Times, 21 January 1992
  37. ^ Groups work in tandem against terrorist violence Jim Cusack, Irish Times, 29 March 1993
  38. ^ Minute’s silence before match sought for pub victims Elaine Keogh, Irish Times, 24 June 1994
  39. ^ TDs take part in protest picket Irish Times, 4 February 1991
  40. ^ Groups work in tandem againstor, ithichence Jim Cusack, Irish Times, 29 March 1993
  41. ^ Bomb protest at Sinn Fein HQ Marie O'Halloran, Irish Times, 21 January 1992
  42. ^ Saturday profile: a man with his own agenda Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 3 April 1993
  43. ^ Three more Northern Ireland terrorist groups lay down their arms The Times Archived 4 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  44. ^ [1] The secret world of SFWP. Magill magazine 1982
  45. ^ The Longest War: Northern Ireland and the IRA by K. Kelley (1988) pg. 270; Swan,Official Irish Republicanism, Chapter 8; Politics in the Republic of Ireland by John Coakley and Michael Gallagher (2004), Pg. 28
  46. ^ The Lost Revolution the Story of the Official IRA and the Workers' Party pg 456
  47. ^ Groups work in tandem against terrorist violence Jim Cusack, Irish Times, 29 March 1993
  48. ^ Coogan IRA book withdrawn in legal row Geraldine Collins, Irish Independent, 16 September 1995
  49. ^ Peace group paid damages by author, publishers Irish Times, 28 November 1996
  50. ^ Challenge to Veritas anti-abortion book Paul O'Neill, Irish Times, 17 February 1992
  51. ^ Cyberworld Rallies to Defend House of Artist as Young Man Frank McDonald, Irish Times, 21 June 1996
  52. ^ Of the community, by the community Brendan O'Connor, Sunday Independent, 6 June 1999
  53. ^ Nugent’s local election performance in 1999 ElectionsIreland.Org
  54. ^ Bank is prepared to see other candidates Mark Brennock, Irish Times, 1 July 2000
  55. ^ EIB Must Retain Independence in Decision-making Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 8 June 2000
  56. ^ Historic defeat for cronyism as Hugh O’Flaherty bows out Fintan O'Toole, Irish Times, 2 September 2000
  57. ^ You can fool some of the people Review of Absurdly Yours, Liam Mackey, Irish Examiner, 27 November 2004
  58. ^ Fans Forum Hopes to Unite Varied Interests Mary Hannigan, Irish Times, 19 July 2002
  59. ^ Bohs crisis intensifies as Nugent forced out Neil Ahern, Irish Independent, 7 August 2008
  60. ^ Bohs in bother but League must take share of blame Mark Gallagher, Mail on Sunday, 22 August 2010
  61. ^ Blasphemy law a return to middle ages - Dawkins Alison Healy, Irish Times, 13 July 2009
  62. ^ Father Ted creators back challenge to the blasphemy bill Henry McDonald, The Observer, 5 July 2009
  63. ^ Blasphemy law is silly, dangerous and unjust Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 10 July 2009
  64. ^ Senator David Norris welcomes Nugent and Church of Dermotology Transcript of Seanad debate, 9 July 2009
  65. ^ Irish atheists challenge new blasphemy laws Henry McDonald, The Guardian, 1 January 2010
  66. ^ Atheists challenge blasphemy law Sarah McInerney, Sunday Times, 3 January 2010
  67. ^ Atheists challenge Ireland's new blasphemy law Karla Adam, Washington Post, 3 January 2010
  68. ^ Links to news coverage of challenge to blasphemy law Blasphemy.ie, 1–7 January 2010
  69. ^ Ahern proposes Autumn referendum on blasphemy Sunday Times, 14 March 2010
  70. ^ Speakers Gods and Politics, 18–20 June 2010
  71. ^ Angelus still ringing with controversy 60 years on Conall O Fatharta, Irish Examiner, 18 August 2010
  72. ^ Sixty years of the Angelus Ruth McDonald, Sunday Sequence, BBC Radio Ulster, 20 August 2010
  73. ^ The Angelus Brenda Donohue, Mooney Goes Wild, RTÉ Radio 1, 24 August 2010
  74. ^ Press release and list of participants European Commission, 15 October 2010
  75. ^ Atheists tick off census for religious leaning Justine McCarthy, Sunday Times, 6 March 2011
  76. ^ Losing faith with religions Colin Coyle, Sunday Times, 27 March 2011
  77. ^ Dublin hosts first atheist congress Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 1 June 2011
  78. ^ Dawkins urges constitutional reform to remove church role Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 6 June 2011
  79. ^ World atheist convention chairman of Irish group explains atheist 'arrogance' Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 6 June 2011
  80. ^ Ireland's poisonous blasphemy debate Padraig Reidy, The Guardian, 24 June 2011
  81. ^ Atheists will change our minds Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 4 October 2011
  82. ^ No reason to invent a god Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 11 October 2011
  83. ^ The foundation of morality Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 18 October 2011
  84. ^ Faith ceases to be a virtue Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 25 October 2011
  85. ^ The myth of Jesus Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 1 November 2011
  86. ^ College removes atheism statements Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 10 March 2012
  87. ^ Why we must combat blasphemy laws YouTube, May 2012
  88. ^ Radio interview about the Irish blasphemy law Today with Pat Kenny, RTÉ, 3 September 2012
  89. ^ Statement by Michael Nugent to OSCE Meeting OSCE Website
  90. ^ Is there a new face of atheism? Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 26 October 2012
  91. ^ Myths about atheism obscure its secular values Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 16 November 2012
  92. ^ Abortion 'permitted' in certain cases Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 11 January 2013
  93. ^ Agnostic Gilmore got legal advice on swearing religious oath Mary Minihan, Irish Times, 27 July 2013
  94. ^ Michael Nugent and Daniel Trilling discuss Richard Dawkins and Islam Sunday Sequence, BBC Radio, 25 August 2013
  95. ^ Irish schoolchildren to learn about atheism Henry McDonald, The Guardian, 26 September 2013
  96. ^ A New Problem in Ireland: Where to Find a Non-Catholic School? Aaron Schrank, The Atlantic, 3 October 2013
  97. ^ Impact of Louise O’Keeffe judgment Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 14 February 2014
  98. ^ Why a dry Good Friday is silly and an affront to non-believers Michael Nugent, Irish Independent, 18 April 2014
  99. ^ Should priests report child rape? Liveline, RTÉ, April 2014
  100. ^ FFRF Raleigh Regional Convention Overview FFRF, May 2014
  101. ^ Video of debates and talks Michael Nugent website
  102. ^ Crucifix in Council chamber to be referred to Equality Authority ‘'Radio Kerry, 8 June 2014
  103. ^ UN asks how State will protect non-Christian children Kitty Holland, Irish Times, 15 July 2014
  104. ^ UN asks Ireland about religious discrimination in education 4FM Radio, 16 July 2014
  105. ^ Referenda, Anyone? ‘'Broadsheet.ie, 24 July 2014
  106. ^ Christians, people of other faiths and none, give their views on Pope Francis Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 7 October 2014
  107. ^ Better chance of dying than being cured at Lourdes RTE, 25 November 2014
  108. ^ A short history of the Irish blasphemy law on RTE1’s Prime Time RTE, 8 January 2015
  109. ^ First meeting between Government and atheist group to take place Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 9 Feb 2015
  110. ^ Lessons from the marriage equality referendum Michael Nugent website, 27 May 2015
  111. ^ Implications of austerity ‘disregarded’, UN committee told Kitty Holland, Irish Times, 8 June 2015
  112. ^ Four ways to end school discrimination against atheists and minority faiths Michael Nugent, Irish Times, 28 Aug 2015
  113. ^ Going, going, dong: why bell tolls for traditional Angelus Damian Corless, Irish Independent, 25 Oct 2015
  114. ^ Dominican school cancels invite to atheist speaker Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 Nov 2015
  115. ^ Ireland may require referendum to end religious bias by schools Henry McDonald, ‘'The Guardian, 15 Jan 2016
  116. ^ Atheists label Rising rebels ‘undemocratic killers’ Ciaran D’Arcy, Irish Times, 28 Mar 2016
  117. ^ This atheist dogma is beyond belief Donald Clarke, Irish Times, 2 Apr 2016
  118. ^ Is there any point putting down 'Jedi' in the census? Catherine Healy, ‘'The Journal, 24 April 2016
  119. ^ School patronage plans will worsen situation–Atheist Ireland Vivienne Clarke, ‘’Irish Times, 6 June 2016
  120. ^ http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/new-proposals-could-see-cut-in-teaching-time-for-religion-classes-746674.html New proposals could see cut in teaching time for Religion classes, ‘’BreakingNews.ie’', 26 July 2016
  121. ^ Report on right to die Prime Time RTÉ, 27 September 2012
  122. ^ Pratchett plans Ireland visit for assisted suicide debate Susan Mitchell, Sunday Business Post, 15 April 2012
  123. ^ Right to Die Ireland: a new support and lobby group Michael Nugent website, 17 October 2012
  124. ^ Debate on assisted suicide The Late Debate RTÉ, 30 April 2013
  125. ^ Radio shows and podcasts Michael Nugent website
  126. ^ Debate on assisted suicide ‘'Sunday Sequence BBC Radio Ulster, 13 Sep 2015
  127. ^ Debate on assisted suicide ‘’Prime Time RTE, 9 June 2016
  128. ^ Saturday profile: a man with his own agenda Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 3 April 1993
  129. ^ First Person Alex Meehan, Sunday Business Post, 28 June 2009
  130. ^ Of the community, by the community Brendan O'Connor, Sunday Independent, 6 June 1999
  131. ^ Ateismo: “No descarto nada” BBC Mundo, 7 August 2009
  132. ^ Does Democracy have to be secular? BBC World Service, 23 June 2009
  133. ^ Irish befuddled by new blasphemy law All Things Considered NPR, 12 January 2010
  134. ^ Report by Katie Hannon on Irish blasphemy law Prime Time RTÉ, 12 January 2010
  135. ^ Radio interview about atheismPart 1 part 2 Ryan Tubridy Show, RTÉ, 1 July 2009
  136. ^ Radio interview about the Irish blasphemy law Today with Pat Kenny, RTÉ, 3 September 2012
  137. ^ Radio interview about the Christian heritage of Europe Spirit Moves, RTÉ, 17 May 2009
  138. ^ TV interview about I, Keano Seoige and O'Shea, RTÉ, 24 January 2007
  139. ^ Video of Michael Nugent debates and talks Michael Nugent website

External links[edit]