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Iona Documents

Legal Opinion: The rights of a mother and father in light of the proposed referendum

If we pass the marriage referendum as the Government wants, it will have profound changes on how we view the family in our law. A major legal opinion commissioned by The Iona Institute examines this question. It shows that our ability to give preference to motherhood and fatherhood in Irish law will be severely and probably wholly undermined.

The opinion by Michael Collins SC and Paul Brady BL examines the Constitution, and in particular Article 41, called ‘The Family’, in the light of various rulings by the Supreme Court. 

It shows that the constitutionally protected right to marry is also a constitutionally protected right to have children. The right to marry therefore is unavoidably linked to the rights of children.

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About the Iona Institute

The Iona Institute promotes the place of marriage and religion in society. Our starting point in debates about the family is that all children deserve the love of their own mother and father whenever possible. We believe in publicly-funded denominational schools. We also promote freedom of conscience and religion.

The Iona Institute is headed by religious and social affairs commentator, David Quinn.

Religious Education and Human Rights 

What does national and international law have to say about the rights of parents who want their children to attend Church-run schools? Read on to find out.

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Latest News

Kenny plan to set up convention on abortion criticised by PLC

Plans by Enda Kenny to establish a constitutional convention to consider whether or not we should have another referendum on abortion has been attacked by the Pro-Life Campaign. Cora Sherlock of the Pro-Life Campaign said the move would amount to a “charade”. She stated: “The suggestion that the abortion issue could be referred to a ‘Citizens’ Convention’ will remind many of the charade in 2013, when expert evidence presented at two sets of Oireachtas Hearings was ignored by the Government who went ahead and introduced abortion.”
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Pro-life activists can distribute leaflets near abortion clinics says European court

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has upheld the right of a pro-life activist to distribute anti-abortion leaflets near an abortion clinic in Germany. The European Centre for Law and Justice in Strasbourg has welcomed the decision as a victory for free speech. The activist in question, Klaus Guenter Annen, took a case to the ECHR following a court order in 2007 that he desist from handing out pro-life leaflets near a clinic run by two doctors named on the document – one of whom sought the original court order. Mr Annen also named the two doctors on his website.
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The Iona Blog

Twenty years on from the divorce referendum; who was right?

This week sees the 20th anniversary of the referendum that narrowly legalised divorce in Ireland back in 1995. Various media outlets are marking the occasion, chiefly by claiming that the Yes side was right about the effects of the referendum and the No side was wrong. Needless to say, this is too simplistic because each side was right on certain points and each side was wrong on certain points.
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Recent and Upcoming Events


'Wolf Hall: Saints John Fisher and Thomas More in fiction and history'

Dr Richard Rex will ask whether 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel was fair in its portrayal of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher.

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The Future of Denominational Education

Prof Eamonn Conway and Dr Ken Fennelly will discuss 'The Future of Denominational Education' on Thursday, Oct 15, 2015. The talk will be chaired by Dr Martin Mansergh.

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