The Iona Blog

Britain’s failed teenage pregnancy strategy

New numbers from the UK suggest that their teen pregnancy rate, already the highest in the EU, is on the rise again among under 16s after some years of remaining steady. This is despite the Labour Government spending 13 years and hundreds of millions of pounds in concerted effort to halve pregnancies among under-18s by...

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Is Ireland really the most expensive for day-care?

Is Ireland the most expensive place for child-care in the developed world? According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the answer is yes. Taking a two-income couple with two young children in day-care as its mark, it finds that we are indeed the most expensive country, that such a couple will pay...

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Judge Walker vs the voters

Judge Vaughan Walker’s ruling overturning Proposition 8, the referendum passed in California in 2008 preserving traditional marriage, has provoked a firestorm of controversy, and not just for the obvious reasons. Because apart from overturning the will of the majority of Californian voters, Judge Walker also attempted to assert that gay marriage has always been part...

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Divorce from the point of view of fathers

The Daily Telegraph ran a feature on Tuesday written by Tim Lott, a divorced dad about how lonely and bereft  fathers can be when they are forcibly separated from their children. The article is a response to remarks made by author Louis de Bernieres , whose partner left him last year, taking his two children...

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Aniston’s unhelpful remarks on family

Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing on National Review Online, takes a stance in this article against remarks made by Friends actress Jennifer Aniston (pictured). Aniston, promoting her latest movie The Switch, said: “The point of the movie is, what is it that defines family? It isn’t necessarily the traditional mother, father, two children, and a dog...

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When divorce is not the answer

Is divorce the answer? It probably depends on the question, but if the question is, will divorce make me happier, then the answer is, maybe not. A feature in yesterday’s Irish Independent dealt with the aftermath of divorce and quoted marriage counsellor, Sian Blore, who was an oasis of common sense. She points out that...

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Marriage and the ICCL’s straw-men

In its latest newsletter, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, and its director, Mark Kelly, take The Iona Institute to task over its position on the Civil Partnership Act. In the course of his attack on us, Kelly sets up a whole series of straw-men which he naturally has no difficulty in toppling over. For...

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Catholic schools inclusive and successful-O’Brien

Breda O’Brien’s (pictured) Irish Times column on Saturday contained a useful analysis on the current state of the debate about school patronage. Among other things, it helps to clarify a number of misconceptions that have not helped the discussion to date. For example, she points out that there “has been a simplistic analysis of secular...

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Why children are in care

There are more than 5,000 children in the care of the State. Official figures from 2007 list the reasons why they are in care. The majority are in care because of ‘family-centred problems’ rather than abuse or neglect indicating children can already be taken into care for a wide range of reasons without a change...

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Why a conscience clause had a good constitutional claim

This blog by a PhD student contains a useful legal analysis of the demand that a conscience clause be included in the Civil Partnership Act. The author, Eoin Daly, appears to be unsympathetic to such a demand, but he nonetheless believes that it might have a strong constitutional basis and he cannot understand why this...

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