Freemasonry is one
of the world's oldest secular fraternities with some 20,000
members in Ireland and around 6 million members worldwide.
It is a society concerned with moral and
values. Its members are taught these precepts by a series of
ancient forms, using the customs and tools of the stonemason
as allegorical guides. It has been said that
Freemasons use 18th
century language to teach 21st
Freemasonry and Religion
Freemasonry is not a religion, or a combination of religions,
nor is it a substitute for religion. It expects its members to
adhere to their own faith, and it does not permit discussion
on religious matters at Masonic meetings and gatherings.
A Freemason is
encouraged firstly to do his duty to his God through his faith
and religious practice, and secondly to his neighbour through
charity, tolerance and service. These ideas are not
exclusively Masonic, but are universally acceptable, and
Freemasons are expected to follow them.
The Three Great Principles
Freemasons are expected to adhere to three principles:
Every true Freemason will show
tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave
with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Freemasons are taught to practise charity, and to care, not
only for their own members, but for the community as a
whole, by both charitable giving, and by voluntary effort.
Freemasonry strives for truth and
requires high moral standards of its members.
Freemasonry has been concerned from its
earliest days with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged.
This work continues today, and in recent times substantial
sums have been donated to both Masonic and non-Masonic
charities. This trend is firmly established and will continue.
For more information about our charity work please
Freemasonry and Society
Freemasonry demands that its members abide by the laws of the
country in which they work and live. Its principles do not in
any way conflict with members' duties as citizens, but should
rather encourage and support members in fulfilling their
public and private responsibilities. Whenever we dine or
celebrate in North Munster, the first toast of the evening is
always to: "His Excellency the President of Ireland".
The use by a Freemason of his membership to promote his
business, professional or personal interests is not permitted. A
Mason's duty as a citizen must always prevail over any
obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a
Freemason who has acted dishonourably or unlawfully is
Primarily, being a Freemason gives deep
meaning and satisfaction from a life lived selflessly,
ever mindful of the needs of others.
Freemasonry and Politics
Freemasonry is non-political, and any
discussion of politics at Masonic meetings and gatherings is
The Essential Qualification for Membership
qualification for admission is the belief in a Supreme Being.
Membership is open to men of integrity from any race or
religion who can fulfil this essential qualification.
Freemasons come from all walks of life, from all
occupations, or none. In every Lodge, members meet "on
a level" without the distinctions of external
further details please refer to the page on Membership.
Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Ireland
Declaration of fundamental principles of the Order
The first condition of admission into, and membership
of, the Order is a belief in the Supreme Being. This is
essential and admits of no compromise.
The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume of
the Sacred Law, is always open in the Lodges. Every
candidate is required to take his Obligation on that Book or
on the Volume which is held by his particular creed to
impart sanctity to an oath or promise taken upon it.
Everyone who enters Freemasonry is at the outset
strictly forbidden to countenance any act which may have a
tendency to subvert peace and good order of society; he must
pay due obedience to the law of any State in which he
resides or which may afford him protection, and he must
never be remiss in the allegiance due to the Sovereign/Head
of State of his native land.
While Irish Freemasonry thus inculcates in each of
its members the duties of loyalty and citizenship, it
reserves to the individual the right to hold his own opinion
with regard to public affairs. But neither in any Lodge, nor
at any time in his capacity as a Freemason, is he permitted
to discuss or to advance his views on theological or
The Grand Lodge has always consistently refused to
express any opinion on questions of foreign or domestic
state policy either at home or abroad, and it will not allow
its name to be associated with any action, however
humanitarian it may appear to be, which infringes its
unalterable policy of standing aloof from every question
affecting the relations between one government and another,
or between political parties, or questions as to rival
theories of government.
The Grand Lodge is aware that there do exist Bodies,
styling themselves Freemasons, which do not adhere to these
principles, and while that attitude exists the Grand Lodge
of Ireland refuses absolutely to have any relations with
such Bodies or to regard them as Freemasons.
This Grand Lodge is a Sovereign and independent Body
practising Freemasonry only within the three Degrees and
only with the limits defined in its Constitution as “pure
Ancient Masonry”. It does not recognise or admit the
existence of any superior Masonic authority, however styled.
There is no secret with regard to any of the basic
principles of Freemasonry, some of which have been stated
above. The Grand Lodge will always consider the recognition
of those Grand Lodges which profess, and practice and can
show that they have consistently professed and practised
those established and unaltered principles, but in no
circumstances will it enter into discussion with a view to
any new or varied interpretation of them. They must be
accepted and practised wholeheartedly and in their entirety
by those who desire to be recognised as Freemasons by the
Grand Lodge of Ireland.
Contact can be made by
The Provincial Grand Lodge of North