First published here August 2019
On 15th December 2009 Pagan Federation Ireland (PFI) gained the right to legally solemnise marriages in Ireland. Everything changed for the Pagan community overnight but this was the result of years of campaigning for Pagan rights by the head of PFI and its members.
This was a truly historic moment. For the first time since probably around 600CE (when Ireland ceased to be at all Pagan in any practical sense) Pagan rites had official recognition by the Irish State. PFI is led by Ray Sweeney but also includes prominent members of the Pagan community such as Eimear Burke (OBOD Chosen Chief Elect) and respected Wiccan priestess and author Janet Farrar.
As a result of the work of PFI, the door was opened for other religious and spiritual organisations to gain the same rights. The Humanist Association, Pagan Life Rights, Celtic Druid Temple and Spiritualist churches all gained the same religious recognition in 2012, but only because of the fantastic precedent that PFI had worked so hard to achieve.
This historic achievement was mentioned in both houses of the Oireachtas and on 15th December 2019 the Pagan community will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of this ground-breaking event, that brought emancipation and legal equality for Pagans in Ireland. I am proud to have been a member of PFI for many years and offer my support in whatever way I can. So, I will be joining thousands of people all over Ireland in celebrating the 10th anniversary of this historic moment for Paganism in Ireland this December.