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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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Topics and Resources

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.

Genocide: the persecution of Christians in the Middle East 

The subject matter of the next meeting of The Iona Institute is 'Genocide: how Christians are being killed and driven out of the Middle East'. It is being co-hosted by Aid to the Church in Need.

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Latest News

US House of Representatives unanimously declares Islamic State actions ‘genocide’

The US House of Representatives has voted unanimously to label Islamic State (ISIS) actions against Christians and other religious minorities as ‘genocide’. A resolution sponsored by Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, was passed by 393-0. The vote was taken just ahead of a deadline set for the State department to declare whether it too would recognise as genocide the wholesale slaughter of minorities, including Christians, by ISIS. “It is my sincere hope that this trans-partisan resolution will further compel the State Department to join the building international consensus in calling the horrific ISIS violence against Christians, Yazidis and others by its proper name: genocide,” said Congressman Fortenberry.
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Bring fatally handicapped babies to term for their organs urges health service

Mothers whose unborn babies will die at or soon after birth will be urged by the National Health Service in the UK to carry their children to full term for the purpose of using their organs after death. According to The Mirror newspaper, during the annual meeting of the British Transplant Society in Glasgow, details of the NHS scheme were unveiled, revealing that a committee has already been established to boost the number of organ donations from newborns to at least 100 per year through direct approaches to women who receive news of a ‘fatal foetal abnormality’.
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The Iona Blog

Reporting from Ireland’s first commercial surrogacy conference

Ireland’s first ever commercial surrogacy conference took place last week in Dublin. The event was organised by a group called “Families through Surrogacy” which call itself a non-profit group. However, the conference sponsors, variously categorised as “platinum”, “gold” and “silver” sponsors, are composed of big surrogacy firms from the U.S. and Canada, as well as Irish law firms that specialise in surrogacy law. I am simply going to report on what was said, rather than comment. That can come later.
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Recent and Upcoming Events


'Genocide: how Christians are being killed and driven out of the Middle East'

The Iona Institute's next talk is by John Pontifex of Aid to the Church in Need which will deal with the topic, ‘Genocide: how Christians are being killed and driven out of the Middle East for their faith'.

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How should a Catholic think about politics?

The Iona Institute's next talk is by Bishop of Elphin, Kevin Doran on the topic, ‘How Should a Catholic Think About Politics?’ It will take place on February 23, 2016 in the Clarion Hotel, Sligo.

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