'God doesn't exist but aliens probably do,' says minister
A junior minister has claimed that he knows "for a fact" that God doesn't exist but that aliens which are more sophisticated than humans probably do.
In an extraordinary interview, John Halligan has likened some pro-life campaigners with Jihadi terror group Isis and admits he would "absolutely" break the law to help someone close to him die by suicide if they were in pain.
The Independent Alliance TD for Waterford also told 'Hot Press' magazine that he favours Simon Coveney as the next leader of Fine Gael.
He argues that prostitution should be regulated so that "lonely" men have an outlet for sex and that people caught smoking "a bit of hash" should not be brought to court.
Mr Halligan is the Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, working alongside Richard Bruton and Mary Mitchell O'Connor.
He describes himself as an atheist who lost his virginity at 15 and dropped out of school at 16. The father of three is separated from his wife but he has a partner, Elaine, for more than 20 years.
In the interview, Mr Halligan says that he doesn't believe a God could exist because nobody could create a world of raging war, murders and rapes.
"We're being asked to believe that - boom - Adam and Eve appeared on earth, and then we all came from Adam and Eve," he said.
"I don't think there's any God - I know for a fact there's not."
However, he believes other species exist in the universe but human may be "so unsophisticated" or "moronic" that they are "just passing us off".
Mr Halligan adds that humans need to get over our own self-importance and realise that in a short time the earth will be gone.
"The solar system will be destroyed. Our sun will burn up and burn out and destroy all the planets," he said.
The minister recently placed himself in direct conflict with his government partners in Fine Gael by insisting that he be allowed vote in favour of a Mick Wallace Bill that would pave the way for abortion - despite the Programme for Government committing to a Citizens' Assembly on the issue.
Speaking to 'Hot Press' about that controversy he said it's "inevitable" the Eighth Amendment will be repealed.
Having been subjected to threats because of his stance on abortion, Mr Halligan describes a minority of people in the pro-life movement as "a mob" and he has taking legal advice on "the bastards".
"And they're the guys who call themselves Christians. Could you imagine those people in power? Oh, Isis here we come," he says.