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Northern Ireland Humanists names Tim McGarry as first patron


First patron  for Northern Ireland Humanists, Tim McGarry

Northern Ireland Humanists is delighted to announce the appointment of its first patron: comedian Tim McGarry. As well as becoming a patron of Northern Ireland Humanists, Tim McGarry joins over 150 other entertainers, public figures, and intellectuals who are patrons of the British Humanist Association (BHA).

Tim is best known for playing the part of Da in 73 episodes of the satirical comedy Give My Head Peace, which he also co-wrote. His other appearances include various roles in the the sketch show Dry Your Eyes, as well as other projects with his comedy troupe, the Hole in the Wall Gang. A popular stand-up comedian, McGarry has been celebrated critics for being ‘sensitive, courageous, excoriating and funny… a comedian of the people, for the people’.

Commenting on his appointment, McGarry said, ‘I have reached that advanced stage in life when it is common to consider the meaning of life and the purpose of existence. After examining all the objective evidence I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that I will never be asked to play centre forward for Cliftonville FC.

‘It is scant compensation for that loss but nonetheless a huge honour to be asked to be the first patron of Northern Ireland Humanists. I am delighted to be asked to support their work. I fully support the cause of integrated education as well as Northern Ireland Humanists’ campaign for a religious education curriculum that embraces all faiths and none. ’


Northern Ireland Humanists is part of the British Humanist Association, the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.

The BHA has over 150 patrons supporting its work in various ways through their expertise and prominence in various fields. Existing patrons include significant figures from the spheres of science, philosophy, human rights activism, politics, the arts, and broadcasting. The BHA’s President is the author and comedian Shappi Khorsandi, supported by Vice Presidents Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Professor A C Grayling, and Polly Toynbee. For a full list of patrons, see


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