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Iona Institute Director addresses PD annual conference

The Director of The Iona Institute was a guest speaker at the annual conference of the Progressive Democrats last Saturday. He urged the PDs to develop closer ties to the Churches, and also to develop a family policy that favoured marriage, while also assisting all families in need.

20/02/07
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Ireland children doing ok....ish, says new report

Ireland's children receive a pass mark in terms of child welfare, according to a major new UN report. The study, carried out by Unicef, the UN body with responsibility for children, shows that Ireland is in the middle of the league table of industrialised countries.

15/02/07
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Wording for “children's rights” vote finalised

A final wording for the Government's proposed referendum on children's rights has been decided upon, it emerged yesterday.

14/02/07
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Proposal to end stay-at-home credit “ludicrous”

A proposal from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) to abolish the tax credit for spouses who work in the home was dismissed yesterday as “ludicrous” by leading politicians.

14/02/07
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US divorce rate continues to increase among the poor: report

Divorce rates in the US continue to rise among those who have a poor educational background, new research from the University of Maryland has found.

13/02/07
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Catholic Church in Scotland prepared to “break the law” over gay adoption

The Catholic Church in Scotland has decided to fight new legislation which forces them to consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents.

13/02/07
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Catholic Church launches new marriage initiatives to mark UK National Marriage Week

Two major initiatives, aimed at helping to strengthen marriage, have been launched by the Catholic Church in the UK. The projects have been timed to coincide with National Marriage Week, which runs from the 7th to the 14th of February.

09/02/07
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Government set to change wording on “children's rights” referendum.

Government plans to hold a referendum enshrining new rights for children were set to undergo significant change yesterday, as reports suggested that it was considering a new wording for the proposed amendment.

07/02/07
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Tax individualisation “unfair”, say Labour and Fine Gael

The Government's controversial tax individualisation scheme has been branded unfair by the main Opposition parties.

07/02/07
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Marriage provides “moral geography” for society, says Archbishop

Married couples who stayed together are unsung “heroes” according to the head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

06/02/07
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Huge increase in divorce/separation applications since introduction of divorce

The number of applications for divorce and judicial separations has more than trebled since the introduction of divorce legislation exactly 10 years ago, according to official figures.

Court figures show that, while the combined number of applications for divorce and judicial separation in 1997 was 1,694 (431 and 1263 respectively), the comparable figure in 2005 was 5,833 (4126 and 1707 respectively).

This corresponds to an increase of nearly 350 per cent.

Although it is impossible to demonstrate conclusively that the introduction of divorce in itself caused this huge increase, the figures are at least indicative of a causal relationship.

It is been suggested that the rate of increase in marital breakdown has not increased as a result of the introduction of divorce. In fact, it is hard to draw this conclusion from the available data. The figures that are available show that applications for judicial separations rose from 2264 in the year ended July 1992, to 2806 in the year ended July 1993. This figure increased to 2847 in the following year.It dropped in the following years as people appeared to wait for divorce to be introduced.

However, 1998, the year after the passing of divorce legislation, saw the rate of combined judical separation and divorce applications jump from 1694 to 4342. This is far more dramatic than any of the increases prior to the introduction of divorce.

This very big increase suggests that the introduction of divorce did accelerate the rate of marital breakdown in Ireland. However, again it is hard to draw definitive conclusions because many of those applying for divorce may have already been separated and may have been granted a judicial separation in previous years..

Meanwhile, three out of four voters would now vote in favour of retaining divorce, according to a poll published in Irish Times on Monday. The poll showed that a majority, 64 per cent, did not believe that divorce had contributed to a decline in the institution of marriage.

Support for divorce was highest amongst voters from Dublin and those in the 18-23 age bracket, while older voters, and those from rural areas were more likely to be opposed. Green voters were most likely to say divorce has undermined marriage.

06/02/07

Psychology meeting hears about effects of family breakdown

The College of Psychoanalysis debated the causes of social breakdown and crime during a meeting in the Irish Writer's Museum in Dublin on Saturday. A paper was presented by psychoanalyst and lecturer, Rob Weatherill which blamed psychoanalysis itself for many of the pathologies facing modern society, including family breakdown.

06/02/07
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Govt to propose five new provisions in Children rights referendum.

The Government plans to insert five new provisions in the Constitution aimed at strengthening children's rights and providing greater protection against child sexual abuse, according to reports.

01/02/07
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French politician faced prison over remarks about homosexuality

A French politician has been fined almost $4,000 under a French law against inciting hatred against minorities.

31/01/07
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Fatherlessness in Ecuador leads to sharp rise in youth suicide

A rise in the number of children living without their fathers has led to a sharp increase in youth suicide in Ecuador, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

30/01/07
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British Government imposing a "new morality" says Cardinal

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Archbishop of Westminister, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, has accused the Labour Government of imposing “a new morality”.

30/01/07
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No adoption exemption for Church agencies

UK Cabinet ministers have poured cold water over suggestions that Catholic Church adoption agencies might be exempted from new legislation requiring them to consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents.

25/01/07
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Clear majority oppose lowering age of consent

An overwhelming majority of Irish people oppose a recent proposal to lower the age of consent for sexual activity to 16, according to a new opinion poll. The poll, published in the Sunday Tribune, showed that a massive 68 per cent of people are opposed to the proposal.

25/01/07
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Church leaders join forces to oppose gay adoption

Senior Church of England bishops last night added their weight to Catholic opposition to legislation requiring religious adoption agencies in Britain to consider homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents. The head of the Anglican Church, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York said that "the rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well meaning".

24/01/07
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Archbishop Martin cites Iona Institute poll.

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has cited the recent Iona Institute poll on marriage and the family to back claims that many Europeans, the Irish included still back traditional values.

23/01/07
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"The child...shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."

Article 7. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.