Letter to Editor – Irish Times 1 May 2015

We had this Letter to Editor published in Irish Times today.

Sir, – I find it disturbing that the Government is proceeding with the “forgotten referendum” in the full knowledge that the Constitution Review Group (Whitaker, 1995), the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution (1998) and the UN Human Rights Committee (Report on Ireland, August 2014) have recommended strongly that the religious oath that is required of the president-elect at installation in St Patrick’s Hall in Dublin Castle be amended by the uttering of a parallel “affirmation” as the candidate may choose.

The precise wording of the oath is set down in Article 12.8 of the Constitution. The wording of this oath can only be varied by a referendum. There is no substitute at present.

A Yes vote in the 35th amendment referendum will extend the stated religious oath obligation to approximately an additional 100,000 citizens in the 21-35 age range.

We know from surveys that young people are less religious, for want of a better word, so why are we perpetuating the dissimulation and hypocrisy that goes with the uttering of this oath?

I am voting No in this referendum and I call on citizens to follow suit to show the Government that they are putting the wrong amendment to the people. Amend Article 12.8 first. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.