Shortall to seek referendum on presidential oath’s mention of God

Social Democrat co-leader Róisín Shortall is to table a Bill seeking a referendum to remove references to “God” in the presidential oath from the Constitution after the European Court of Human Rights judges dismissed her challenge to the oath.

While Ms Shortall characterised the pledge as “taking an oath to ‘almighty God’”, the wording of oath simply begins with the phrase “In the presence of Almighty God“.

“In a modern republic, it is anathema that those elected to one of the highest political offices in the land, that of president, are required to swear an oath to ‘almighty God’,” she said, adding that such oaths “are incompatible with freedom of conscience”.

Atheist Ireland said it would continue to press for the removal of religious oaths from the Constitution, arguing that they still contravene human rights law.