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Press Release

Church State Dialogue - Plenary Meeting with Churches, Faith Communities and Non-Confessional Organisations

Published: 4 July 2019
From: Department of the Taoiseach

Issued by the Government Press Office

A Plenary Meeting, with members of the government and representatives of almost 30 different Churches, Faith Communities and Non-Confessional Organisations takes place today (Thursday July 4th) in Dublin Castle.

The Plenary Meeting has been organised as part of the Church State Structured Dialogue Process, which was established in 2005 and forms part of the Government’s commitment to carry out wide-ranging and inclusive consultation on public policy.

Today’s meeting is the first time that the Taoiseach will meet in this format with such a wide range of faith-based and non-confessional organisations. The event will begin with an opening address by the Taoiseach, followed by a discussion focussing on themes including: effective structured dialogue; inclusive and diverse communities; and education.

The Plenary Meeting is an important consultative step in developing the relationship between Church and State. It is an inclusive and transparent means of bringing all dialogue partners together to discuss issues of shared importance. It also reflects the increasingly diverse range of faith-based communities in Ireland and the important role they play in our society.

Speaking at the event the Taoiseach said:

‘Ten months ago we welcomed Pope Francis to Ireland. Speaking in this room, I suggested that I believed the time had come to build a new relationship between Religion and the State in Ireland - a new covenant for the 21st Century. One in which religion is no longer at the centre of our State but continues to have a real and meaningful role to play on our society.

This structured dialogue is part of that work and builds on my meetings with the Roman Catholic Church two years ago, and with the Protestant Churches last year.

I believe open, transparent and regular dialogue is the best way of establishing that new relationship, one that recognises the things we have in common and respects our differences.’


Notes to Editors

Invitations issued to a wide range of representatives of Churches, Faith Communities and Non-Confessional Organisations in Ireland to attend today’s Church State Dialogue. The following list accepted:

  • Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre of Ireland
  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Association of Ireland
  • Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland
  • Atheist Ireland
  • Church of Ireland
  • Dublin Council of Churches
  • Éire Vedanta Society
  • Evangelical Alliance Ireland
  • Humanist Association of Ireland
  • Irish Buddhist Union
  • Irish Council of Churches
  • Irish Jewish Community
  • Islamic Centre of Ireland
  • Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland
  • Islamic Foundation of Ireland
  • Lutheran Church in Ireland
  • Methodist Church in Ireland
  • National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Ireland
  • Presbyterian Church in Ireland
  • Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Religious Society of Friends
  • Roman Catholic Church in Ireland
  • Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Ireland
  • Sikh Community in Ireland
  • Sufi Muslim Community in Ireland
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints in Ireland
  • The Russian Orthodox Church in Ireland
  • Vedic Hindu Cultural Centre Ireland