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 [email protected] and it will be considered for inclusion in the blog.


Fatalistic thinking on the family at Dublin Castle

By Tom O'Gorman on 5th February 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Some of the speakers at the Dublin Castle conference on vulnerable families in Europe, surprisingly admitted that the trends towards more single parent families, more cohabitation, fewer, later and more unstable families were not positive. Unfortunately they were fatalistic as to whether anything could be done about this.


The looming possibility of prison for people of religious conscience

By Tom O'Gorman on 31st January 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Is standing up for conscience now a criminal offence in the West? The term “prisoner of conscience” may not have been invented by Amnesty International, but that organisation probably did more than any other to popularise it.


Mary O'Rourke - Agony Aunt

By David Quinn on Jan 26 2013. ~ Categories: Other

In case you didn’t know, Mary O’Rourke is an ‘agony aunt’ for The Irish Independent weekend magazine. This weekend, she was giving advice to a woman who had an abortion after a one-night stand.


The social dynamics of the new marriage gap

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

There is increasing concern in the US that marriage is becoming an exclusively upper middle class phenomenon. In Ireland it is certainly increasing a middle class phenomenon. A recent paper by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia showed that 44 percent of children of ‘moderately educated’ women are now born outside of marriage, up sharply from 13 percent in the 1980s.


The Irish family: an international comparison

By Tom O'Gorman on 24th January 2013 . ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

When Irish commentators turn their attention to the family they like to assure us that the Irish family is basically in good shape and we have little to worry about, especially when compared with other Western countries. However, a new international study released last week suggests otherwise.


The tale of YouTube and The Iona Institute

By David Quinn on 22nd January 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

I came into work this morning only to discover that the Iona Institute’s YouTube account had been terminated. Yes, that was the word used, ‘terminated’. Yikes. An email from YouTube told us the reason was that we had violated YouTube’s ‘Terms of Service’. What in the world had we done to suffer such a fate?


The world's biggest ever demonstration in favour of traditional marriage

By David Quinn on 18th January 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Paris witnessed what must have been the biggest and most extraordinary demonstration ever in favour of the traditional family on Sunday. The best estimate is that 800,000 people took part. It was superbly well organised.


A qualified defeat for religious freedom at the ECHR

By David Quinn on 15th January 2013. ~ Categories: Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Defenders of religious freedom suffered a qualified defeat at the European Court of Human Rights today. Basically, the court found in favour of one person’s right to wear a cross to work, against another worker’s right to do so, and against two workers who have a conscientious objection to homosexual behaviour.


Discriminating against one-income households

By David Quinn on 14th January 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The French Government’s plan to introduce a 75pc tax on anyone earning above a million euro has been slapped down on unconstitutional. Why? The reason is because it favours two-income households over one income households. If you think this sounds a bit like tax individualisation in this country you’d be right.


Maria Steen debates abortion on RTE's Prime Time

By Tom O'Gorman on 11th January 2013. ~ Categories: Other

Maria Steen of the Iona Institute (pictured) debates the Government's proposal to legislate for the abortion issue with Ailbhe Smyth of UCD, Veronica O'Keane of Trinity College and Dr Jaqueline Montwill of the Mayo Clinic on RTE's Prime Time.


Of falsified birth certs, adopted children and egg and sperm donation

By Tom O'Gorman on 9th January 2013. ~ Categories: Other

“GP 'had scores of children illegally adopted' was the banner front page headline on the Irish Mail on Sunday. The report details how a Monaghan GP was involved in illegal adoptions. The report slams the doctor, Dr Irene Creedon, for allowing couples to falsely register children as their own.


David Quinn discusses the Iona Institute's new pro-marriage video on Q102

By Tom O'Gorman on 7 January 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

The Iona Institute's new video setting out the case for man/woman marriage has 40,000 views. It was debated on Call Cooney on Q102 last week.


PM’s former-speechwriter wants to force churches to perform same-sex marriages

By Tom O'Gorman on 5th January 2013. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Last month, in the wake of UK government's announcement that it was set to press ahead with same-sex marriage, it was reported that senior Church of England figures were deeply concerned that the legislation would ultimately force them to conduct same-sex marriages. A piece by Ian Birrell, a former speechwriter for Prime Minister David Cameron, demonstrates why they were right to be scared.


What research is Minister Fitzgerald’s rosy view of child-care based on?

By David Quinn on Jan 2 2013. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Other

Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald wants money diverted from Child Benefit into State-subsidised child care. She believes children will benefit, especially educationally, from this. However, research showing that children benefit from early child care is based mainly on children from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Maria Steen discusses the Government decision to legislate for the X-case on CNN

By Tom O'Gorman on 21st December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

Maria Steen of The Iona Institute debates the Government's proposed abortion legislation with Choice Ireland's Sinéad Ahern on CNN's Connect the World with Becky Anderson.


David Cameron sails into stormy waters over same-sex marriage

By Tom O'Gorman on 18th December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

David Cameron's (pictured) plan to introduce same-sex marriage may be still on track, but it has already brought deep fissures within his own party to the surface, and these divisions are only set to grow. He has been forced to grant his MPs a free vote, but that has not quelled the rebellion.


John Waters on ‘Ireland and the Abolition of God’

By Tom O'Gorman on 14th December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

On Wednesday, columnist and author John Waters spoke to a packed meeting of the Iona Institute on the subject of ‘Ireland and the Abolition of God’. John said that Irish culture has created a situation in which it is impermissable to speak about God or transcendental truths in public..


Minister Quinn could learn from the Catholic schools of Northern Ireland

By John McBride on 13th December 2012. ~ Categories: Schools and Education,Religion and Religious Practice,Freedom of Conscience and Religion

Ruairi Quinn (pictured) will be noting again the amount of time spent teaching religion and Irish in our primary schools. The results of the latest international school literacy and numeracy tests conducted among 50 countries were released this week.


Even in Sweden family breakdown hurts children

By David Quinn on 11th December 2012. ~ Categories: Marriage and the Family

Divorce, cohabitation and births out of wedlock are all very high in Sweden. How do Swedish children fare as a result? Not bad at all, reckons renowned economist, Paul Krugman, and he credits Sweden’s lavish welfare state with this. But he’s wrong, as this blog by sociologist Brad Wilcox shows. In fact, by the time they are 15, Swedish children born out of wedlock are 75pc more likely to see their parents split up than children born within wedlock.


The Irish Human Rights Commission finds in favour of the ‘right’ to die

By Tom O'Gorman on 7th December 2012. ~ Categories: Other

The Irish Human Right Commission has made a submission to the High Court in which it effectively calls for the legalisation of assisted suicide. They made the submission in a case involving a woman suffering from Multiple Sclerosis who is arguing that she has a human right to have someone assist her suicide.


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