The Iona Blog

Opinions contained in The Iona Blog are not necessarily those of The Iona Institute. The Iona Blog is open to anyone who broadly shares the views of The Iona Institute. If you wish to post a comment on a relevant topic please email 200 – 400 words to and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.


Time for the West to recognise the plight of persecuted Christians

By Admin on 27th August 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Recent coverage of the crisis unfolding in Egypt has finally focused attention on the plight of Coptic Christians in that country. But, as this article by David Quinn argues, we in the West ought to be far more aware of the fate of persecuted Christians across the globe.


Girl Guides the latest scalp claimed by ideology of individualism

By David Quinn on 23rd August 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

In an effort to be more ‘inclusive’ the Girl Guides in Britain have dropped references to ‘God’ and ‘country’ from their pledge. Guides now pledge instead to “be true to myself” and to “develop my beliefs”. This is almost beyond parody. Essentially, instead of the pledge being focussed on something external, it is now focussed purely on the individual member and their feelings and personal beliefs. It’s the ‘me generation’ yet again.


Why and how fathers make a difference

By Tom O'Gorman on 20th August 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Are dads (and men) redundant? The increasing trend towards single motherhood (single fathers head only a tiny fraction of families) and best-selling books like Hanna Rosin's The End of Men would have you believe so. Common sense says different of course. For a start, it should be obvious that when it comes to something as tricky as parenting, two is better than one, men are different from women and mothers are different from fathers.


Reducing freedom of religion to the minimum possible

By David Quinn on 17th August 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

One day a major case concerning religious freedom is going to appear before the Supreme Court. That will be a fateful day because on that day, the Court will either interpret religious freedom in a very constricted way, or in a much more (genuinely) liberal way. The implications of either decision will be immense. If Dr Eoin Daly of UCD law department has his way, the Court will opt for the constricted view


David Quinn discusses the ethos of the Mater with George Hook

By Admin on 14 August 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Last week David Quinn appeared on The Right Hook on Newstalk to discuss the ethos of the Mater hospital with George Hook, and the looming clash between it and the new abortion law.


For the sake of its patients and civil society the mater must defend its ethos

By Admin on 13 August 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Mater hospital is being pressured by the new abortion law into abandoning its pro-life ethos. In his column in last Friday's Irish Independent, David Quinn argues that this isn't only a battle about abortion, it's also a battle about the autonomy of civil society.


State must respect the ethos of the Mater hospital

By Admin on 8 August 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The Mater hospital is required by the newly passed Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act to perform abortions under certain circumstances. This includes the suicide ground. Fr Kevin Doran, a member of the board of the Mater, said the law clashed with the ethos of the hospital. The Iona Institute released a statement today defending Fr Doran.


MacGill summer school dominated by a statist mentality on education

By David Quinn on 5th August 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

The issue of our schools featured at this week’s MacGill summer school including in speeches by Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly (pictured) and Labour TD Aodhan O’Riordain. Unlike O’Riordain, O’Reilly has a nuanced line on the Catholic Church, nonetheless she seems to disapprove of the fact that at independence the State ‘outsourced’ the teaching of the nation’s children to the State.


David Quinn discusses the liberal agenda on Tonight with Vincent Browne

By Admin on 2nd August 2013. ~ Categories: Other

David Quinn appeared on the Vincent Browne Show last night to discuss the ‘liberal agenda’. Also on the panel were John McGuirk, Cllr Bríd Smith of People Before Profit and Niamh Hourigan of UCC. The presenter was Tom McGurk. The panel discussed the effects of the liberal agenda on Ireland, both from a social and economic point of view. David Quinn focused in particular on liberalism’s effect on children.


Mounting a constitutional challenge to abortion Bill

By Tom O'Gorman on 30th July 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

President Higgins’ decision to sign the Government's abortion legislation, rather than refer it to the Supreme Court, gives rise to mixed feelings. On the one hand, had he decided to refer the Bill, it would have delayed its implementation, and given some hope that it might never become law, or at least not in its present form.


Silencing the voices of the children of divorce

By David Quinn on 27th July 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The other day I blogged about a new website in America that allows those who went through divorce as children, but are now in adulthood, to recount their often very painful and bitter experiences. I then tweeted it. Here is what Labour councillor Niamh McGowan tweeted in reply: “Like parents who make the difficult decision to separate really need this guilt inducing nonsense.”


How to beat poverty: promote marriage and religion

By Tom O'Gorman on 25th July 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

A new study, reported in the New York Times, confirms that children who grow up in areas with higher than average levels of marriage and higher than average levels of religious practice are more likely to be upwardly mobile in later life. According to the study, some of the favoured ways of tackling poverty such as larger tax credits for the poor and higher taxes on the affluent seem to improve income mobility only slightly.


Between two worlds: children of divorce tell their stories

By David Quinn on 23rd July 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Elizabeth Marquadt is the author of ‘Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce’. Elizabeth herself is a child of divorce and grew up shuttling back and forth between the two houses of her divorced parents. This is the experience of many children of divorce. Now a brand new blog has been established by the Ruth Institute called simply, ‘Divorce Stories’ which bears out that these children do indeed live 'between two worlds'.


It's worse than you thought. Welcome to the hook up culture.

By Tom O'Gorman on 19th July 2013. ~ Categories: Other

Just when you thought that the culture couldn't get any more sordid, you read a piece that makes you realise that things are a lot worse. This New York Times article explains that not only are US college students not waiting until marriage to have sex, or even waiting for Mr or Mrs Right, they aren't even waiting for a relationship of any description. Welcome to the hook-up culture.


Lucinda warns that "group think" is dangerous for democracy

By Tom O'Gorman on 16th July 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Lucinda Creighton's principled stand against her own Government's abortion Bill was widely seen as an act of rare political courage, even by some who disagreed with her position. Some have suggested that not only was she sacrificing her job as Minister for Europe, but a promising future in politics.


How voters were duped into accepting the X Case

By David Quinn on 12th July 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion,Other

My latest column in The Irish Independent explains how Irish voters were manipulated into supporting abortion legislation by poor reporting, twisted media coverage of the medical facts and the bullying tactics employed by Fine Gael towards its own TDs. However, the passage of this Bill is by no means the end of the story. There is the prospect now of another party, plus the pro-life movement will do its best to ensure its own supporters do not forgot what has happened.


Lucinda Creighton's latest speech on the Abortion Bill

By Tom O'Gorman on 11th July 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion,Other

In last night's marathon debate on the Government's Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013, Lucinda Creighton gave one of the most thoughtful and thorough speeches. She provided an in depth analysis of the medical and legal flaws in the Bill.


Kenny is creating the perfect circumstances for a new party

By Tom O'Gorman on 9th July 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Schools and Education,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Presumably Enda Kenny does not want to create a political party to rival Fine Gael. But if he did, he couldn't do better than the job he's doing now. We learned this weekend that not only did Mr Kenny make an electoral promise to protect Ireland's pro-life laws, they actively courted the pro-life movement in advance of the last General Election.


What Lucinda Creighton said about the abortion Bill

By David Quinn on 2010. ~ Categories: Other

On Monday, all eyes in the Dail were on Lucinda Creighton in anticipation of what she would have to say on the issue of the abortion Bill. She did not disappoint those who hoped she would express her opposition to the Bill.


The Atheist Magisterium turns on a fellow atheist

By David Quinn on 2nd July 2013. ~ Categories: Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

One of America’s most noted philosophers is Thomas Nagel of New York University. Nagel is an atheist, but lately he has set a very large cat among his fellow atheists by dissenting from their reductionist, materialist doctrine which, among other things, denies the existence of free will. He did it with his latest book, a slim volume called ‘Mind and Cosmos: Why the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost false’.


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