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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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Tánaiste Joan Burton has said she will support measures to make it much harder for denominational schools to give admit children of the faith of the school ahead of other children in the event of excess demand for places in their schools. At present about 20 percent of schools, mostly in Dublin, are over-enrolled. According to The Irish Independent newspaper, during a speech to party colleagues, Deputy Burton said: "Parents shouldn't feel compelled to baptise their children just to get a school place."
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Northern Ireland abortion ruling strongly criticised

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The Iona Blog

How the new secular prudery is banishing religion from view

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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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