Humanist ceremonies have seen a hundred per cent increase in Ireland in the past year, as a growing number of people choose to celebrate the milestones of life in a non-religious way. The Humanist Association of Ireland offers secular weddings, funeral and naming ceremonies.

In 2013, the Humanist Association was granted legal authority to solemnise weddings and have since been overwhelmed by the hundreds of couples seeking their services. In order to keep up with the demand, they are working to build up a national network of Humanist celebrants.

In this week’s documentary, we follow Siobhán Walls as she trains to become a Humanist celebrant under the guidance of the Humanist Association of Ireland’s Director of Ceremonies, Brian Whiteside. We find out what it takes to become a Humanist celebrant and what Humanist ceremonies are all about.

Produced by Sarah Blake

Sound Supervision by Mark McGrath

Contributors include Siobhán Walls, Brian Whiteside, Billy Hutchinson, Mary McKay, Minka McInerney, Lorna Kee, John Colville, Des Swan, Jane Craven.  Wedding music by The Kooky Ukes.

Further information about Humanist ceremonies available on

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First broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1, Saturday December 6th @ 2pm
Repeated on Sunday December 7th @ 7pm.

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.