All posts by quakersireland

Quakers in Ireland agree to same sex marriages in their meetings for worship

Religious Society of Friends in Ireland statement, 21 July 2018:

Quakers in Ireland agree to same sex marriages in their meetings for worship

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Ireland has agreed to the holding of same-sex marriages in Quaker meetings for worship, currently legal in the Republic of Ireland.

If any Quaker Meetings, solemnisers or members do not wish to participate in meetings for worship for same sex-marriages as a matter of conscience, there is no obligation to do so. This is to facilitate the range of views held within the Society.

The decision was reached at the Society’s Yearly Meeting – its annual conference – which took place in Limerick Institute of Technology from 18-22 July 2018.

Quakers have a diversity of views on marriage between people of the same sex taking place in a meeting for worship because of the range of their theological, spiritual and biblical approaches but we are united through love for one another.


Notes for editors:

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) is a Christian denomination founded by George Fox in England in 1652. Quakerism was introduced to Ireland by William Edmundson in 1654 and there are approximately 1,500 Quakers today in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Quakers hold testimonies on Simplicity, Truth, Equality, Peace and Community that all members are encouraged to live out in their daily lives. There are no clergy and meetings for worship are based on silence with everyone present welcome to make a vocal contribution if they feel moved to do so by the Holy Spirit.


Quaker Office, Religious Society of Friends in Ireland, Stocking Lane, Dublin 16.


Tel: 01 4998003

Demonstrating against the arms trade

Eurosatory, the biennale of the biggest arms trade fair in the world, took place in Paris from 11-15 June 2018. This year the organisers, Stop Fuelling War, managed to be part of an event in central Paris which gathered people from all over Europe in a peaceful and fun-filled event in the days leading up to the start of the arms trade fair. Unfortunately, this Quaker was not looking where she was going and took a nasty fall the day beforehand which meant a period of recuperation during this musical and fun-filled event which had opportunities for interaction and reflection, where folk were invited to vote on military budgets. The efforts to raise awareness in the French public, of the enormous economy generated by an industry whose end product is death, was well received. Many people in France are completely unaware of the size of their military budget each year.

Our hosts, Jenny Haughton and Brian Maguire, were, as always, generous in their hospitality and Jenny joined Helen Fanning from Churchtown Meeting, myself and my grandson, Callum Wrixon from Limerick, in attending the peaceful Quaker vigil against the arms trade. Jenny managed to go inside the Eurosatory buildings where she had some interesting conversations with standholders who were working for the companies represented at the arms trade fair. She brought out a catalogue, which one Young Friend, on seeing it at IYM in Limerick, described as being “bigger than an Argos catalogue”. I was delighted to see old and new faces at the vigil, and indeed some Irish “non-Friends” who had been inspired to travel to witness for peace having heard about it for the first time during a talk in Limerick last year.

On the first day, we were joined by another activist group, who unfortunately were more aggressive in their approach, which swiftly drew security and police personnel. Holly Spencer from the Stop Fuelling War group, skilfully negotiated a time-sharing compromise and we were able to attend separately each day. In fact, many of the thousands attending stopped to talk and tell us of how the more aggressive approach tended to “close down any chance of dialogue” and that our quiet, yet persistent, presence and our willingness to listen, created a space where conversations were able to take place. It felt affirming to hear this kind of feedback and also to even hear friendly suggestions from those who were engaged in the arms trade. One man suggested that more information about alternatives in  of peacebuilding  should be included in the literature and it certainly set me thinking that so many wonderful projects, supporting peace, remain unseen and unknown, a bit like the arms trade itself.

Joining in worship, with all those who had travelled, at Maison Quaker settled our souls for the days ahead and a workshop on The Arms Trade and The Alternatives was held, which  was a practical preparation and information-filled event.

I recommend a visit to the Stop Fuelling War website and Facebook page to see some lists of peace-building projects there.  QCEA have published a wonderful book in February 2018, which they hope to send to our Irish politicians, called Building Peace Together: a practical resource. it can be ordered from QCEA in Brussels >>

Friends at Eurosatory vigil, Paris, June 2018 – Helen Fanning Dublin; Julia Ryberg, Stockholm; Karen King, Brussels; and an unnamed Friend from Britain Yearly Meeting.

Wishing you all peace in your days.

– Pauline Goggin, Limerick. Western Region Monthly Meeting

Visit to Rathangan Burial Ground

Friends from Dublin Meetings joined Friends at Ballitore Meeting, Co Kildare, for meeting for worship on Sunday 24th June. Ballitore is possibly the oldest original meeting house in Ireland still used for Quaker meetings.

Participating Friends then travelled to Rathangan Burial Ground to meet members of the Rathangan Tidy Towns Committee who, in the course of the past few years, cleared away the jungle of undergrowth and transformed the site into a beautiful public park. They arranged for the preparation and installation of wall plaques with the names of all the people buried there.

This was the second year in a row the Committee invited Friends to visit the burial ground and be their guests at a picnic lunch. It was a joyous occasion where Friends met with the organisers, with local historians and with some of the descendants of the Quaker families who once formed a thriving community.

‘Quakers and the Enlightenment’ ~ 6 July

The title of this year’s annual lecture organised by Yearly Meeting Historical Committee is ‘Quakers and The Enlightenment’ and will be delivered by Julianna Minihan in Quaker House, Stocking Lane, Dublin 16, on Friday 6th July.

There will be an exhibition in the Quaker House Library from 7pm and the lecture will begin at 7.30pm.

Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Senior Moyallon Camp 2018

Senior Moyallon Camp for any F(f)friends aged 14+ will be held from 6th to 13th July 2018 at the Moyallon Centre. For more information and application forms visit

Senior Moyallon Camp invite Friends to join them at the Moyallon Centre on Sunday 8th July for a Missionary Meeting at 3pm. The Meeting will be led by campers and. It will be an opportunity to support the camp missionary project which is Cosmovision. An organisation that works with refugees and migrants in Athens. Light refreshments will be served after the Meeting.












‘Building Security: Trust or Fear’ conference ~ Dublin


Building Security: Trust or Fear

20 April 2018

The Helix, Dublin City University, Dublin 9

Hosted by

Dublin City University,

Quaker Council for European Affairs Brussels,

Dublin Quaker Peace Committee.

The conference is a free event but to assist with the organising of the event please register your interest in attending with or

  1. Introduction:

During the past five years, many assumptions about security have been eroded, new security challenges have emerged both inside and outside Europe needing new thinking around how to respond.

In a Europe in which increased paranoia is used as a political weapon against the “outsider”, how do we play a role as citizens in defining a policy which will direct action to take us away from fear and return us to trust? In a changed scenario, what role do citizens and policy makers play?

Dublin City University (DCU), Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA), and the Dublin Quaker Peace Committee are organising a conference bridging academics, policy makers and civil society to discuss this new security environment and our changing roles and responsibilities. This event is open to everyone interested in this challenging situation.

  1. Programme:

09h30 – 10h00:  Opening: John Doyle, Professor & Director of the Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction, and Executive Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, DCU.

10h00 – 12h00:  What does security mean in Europe and what is our vision of the European Union as a security provider?

What does the European Union and Europe mean by security?

What is our vision of the European Union as a provider of security?

What is our role as citizens in moving the European Union from fear to trust?

 ConvenorMaria-Adriana Deiana, Assistant Professor in European Security,  Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction, DCU

  • Ian Anthony, Programme Director, European Security Programme, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
  • Anna Penfrat, Senior Policy Officer, European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO)
  • Girogio Porzio, Head of Division, Concepts and Capabilities, CMPD, European External Action Service
  • John Doyle, Professor & Director of the Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction and Executive Dean of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, DCU.

12h30 – 14h00: Buffet Lunch served: speakers available to informally discuss concerns raised by the morning session.

14h30 – 16h00:  A changing security environment: new threats need new answers.

Convenor: Andrew Lane, Director, Quaker Council for European Affairs, Brussels

Are the roles of military and civilian actors complimentary or opposing?

New threats need new answers – what is the role now for military and civilian actors?

 Are there new actors involved in providing security and what gap do they fill?

Is there a role for communities and civil society as providers of security and if so, which one?         

  • Murray T. Guptill, Deputy Director European Engagement, US Naval Forces Europe and Africa, NATO
  • Olivia Caeymaex, Peace Programme Lead, QCEA
  • Maria Mekri, Executive Director, SaferGlobe
  • Maura Conway, Professor of International Security, School of Law and Government / Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction, DCU 

16h00 – 16h30: Concluding Remarks: Kenneth McDonagh, Associate Professor of International Relations, School of Law and Government, Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction, DCU



Free online course re early Quakers

Are you interested in learning about early Quakers? If so, you might like to take this free online course – ‘Radical Spirituality: the Early History of the Quakers’.

This is an opportunity to learn about Quakerism as it emerged in  17th century England.

Through the course, you will find out about what lies at the heart of Quaker beginnings, who its main characters were, and how in a few weeks during the summer of 1652 the Quaker movement was formed in the north of England.

The three-week course will start on 30 April 2018 and will take three hours per week.