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Northern Ireland Humanists announces five year anniversary celebration

Northern Ireland Humanist patrons Laura Lacole (L) and Tim McGarry (R).

Northern Ireland Humanists will be celebrating its five years of work advancing humanism, rational thinking, and kindness in Northern Ireland with a special anniversary event on 31 August.

The event, which is being hosted by the comedian and Northern Ireland Humanists patron Tim McGarry, will also see the launch of a brand new report examining the incredible impact humanist campaigning has had on the legal and social landscape of Northern Ireland in recent years.

Northern Ireland Humanists is a part of Humanists UK, working with the Humanist Association of Ireland. It brings together Humanists UK’s growing number of members, supporters, and activists in Northern Ireland to put humanism into practice through work in schools, humanist ceremonies, pastoral support, and campaigns for a more secular, inclusive society. While Humanists UK’s presence in Northern Ireland dates back to 1896, it was in 2016 that the movement first came together as a nationwide entity.

Since 2018, following a successful legal case taken by model Laura Lacole and footballer Eunan O’Kane, humanist marriages have had legal recognition in Northern Ireland and have been growing in popularity ever since. Lacole, a patron of Northern Ireland Humanists, will speak to Tim McGarry about her experiences and discuss the incredible growth of humanist ceremonies in the three years since. The event will also hear from the volunteer team leading Northern Ireland Humanists’ activities, plus humanist campaigners working on the repeal of blasphemy laws and an end to divided schools, humanist historians, non-religious pastoral carers, and humanist celebrants.

Northern Ireland Humanists Coordinator Boyd Sleator said:

‘Five years ago when we first founded Northern Ireland Humanists, we set ourselves big ambitions – an end to divided schools, winning legal recognition for humanist marriages, and legalising same-sex marriage and abortion. People in 2016 would scarcely believe how far we’ve come in just five short years!

‘Northern Ireland is changing. It is becoming a kinder, more tolerant, and more inclusive place. This event is our opportunity to celebrate the progress we’ve made and look ahead to the future too.’

Tickets to Five Years of Northern Ireland Humanists are free but registration in advance is essential.


For further comment or information, please contact Northern Ireland Humanists Coordinator Boyd Sleator at or phone 07918 975795.

Successful Northern Ireland Humanists campaigns include:

Separately, an independent review of education will be looking at a single education system for Northern Ireland, which is something Northern Ireland Humanists actively campaigns for.

Northern Ireland Humanists is part of Humanists UK, working with the Humanist Association of Ireland. Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.

In 2021, Humanists UK is celebrating its 125th anniversary with a renewed focus on its history. The new website Humanist Heritage is a rich new web resource that uncovers the untold story of humanism in the UK – a story of people, groups, objects, places, movements, publications, and ideas.

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