We call on the Minister to hold a referendum to remove the requirement for a person to make a declaration before god before they can assume the office of President of Ireland or serve as a member of the Council of State or as a judge, under Articles 12.8; 31.4 and 34.5 of the Constitution.
Why is this important?
The Constitution discriminates directly against the non-religious as they are effectively barred from the Presidency, the Council of State and the bench unless they make a declaration which is manifestly contrary to their beliefs and their conscience. As it is now clear that there will be a presidential election this year, there is no better time to act to remove these out-dated and discriminatory requirements.
By holding a referendum on this issue on the same day as the presidential election and blasphemy referendum, the Government has the opportunity to deal with this matter expeditiously and to save a large amount of taxpayers' money.
We therefore urge the Minister to seek Cabinet approval without delay so that a General Scheme can be prepared in time for 26th October.