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Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
# Close encounter
"I believe that there are other species": John Halligan was asked about aliens on the Late Late
The Waterford TD, known for his outspoken views, spoke to Ryan Tubridy last night.

hall1 RTÉ / Late Late Show RTÉ / Late Late Show / Late Late Show

JOHN HALLIGAN – THE junior minister and Independent Alliance member known for his outspoken views – was asked several questions about the existence of God and aliens in a Late Late Show interview last night.

The TD was due to appear on the chat show in mid-September, at the height of the row between himself and the rest of the Government over a proposed second ‘cath lab’ at University Hospital Waterford – his local hospital.

That appearance was cancelled at the Waterford TD’s behest. Speaking last night, he said that talks on that issue were ongoing with Health Minister Simon Harris and that he remained optimistic that the cardiac lab would be built.

Towards the end of the interview, he was asked about religion – telling host Ryan Tubridy he didn’t believe in God, even though several of his election team were “staunch Catholics”.

He was a “confirmed and committed atheist,” Halligan insisted.

alien1 RTÉ / Late Late Show John Halligan's Christmas card. RTÉ / Late Late Show / Late Late Show

The presenter then showed a slide of a Christmas card the TD had sent his supporters – which depicted a human hand and the hand of an alien, against a starscape background.

Asked about the card, Halligan said:

“I have a belief – which I don’t think I’m far out on – I think it would be naive of us to believe that we’re the only species in the whole of the universe.

“There’s billions of planets, hundreds of millions of stars, multi-galaxies and so on.

It’s incredible to think that we would be the only ones. It’s quite possible that there are others.

“Most scientists,” share that belief, the TD said – adding that he didn’t think there was a “deity up there” controlling everything.

Asked outright, at the end of the interview, whether he believed in aliens, he said:

Absolutely, I think that there are other life forms. I think any scientist – in Nasa, in the European Space Agency –  which is under my jurisdiction as minister and I deal with it - I think all scientists believe that we’re just not alone and that’s about the size of it.

Not alone 

It’s not the first time Halligan has been asked about alien life forms recently. The TD also aired his views on the subject during an extensive interview with Hot Press during the summer.

A number of respected scientists concur with his views – while last year the head of Nasa, Major Charles Bolden, said he was confident life would be found outside of Earth.

“I do believe that we will someday find other forms of life or a form of life, if not in our solar system then in some of the other solar systems – the billions of solar systems in the universe,” the Nasa administrator told a group of schoolchildren in a talk, the Telegraph reported.

Halligan, who is the Minister for Training, Skills and Innovation, discussed Ireland’s involvement in the European Space Agency at a post-Budget briefing earlier this week.

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