The Iona Blog

Ireland’s Covid baby-bust is here

By David Quinn

There were almost 4,000 ‘missing births’ in 2020 compared with 2019. Even allowing for declining fertility in Ireland, that is a big drop for one year, and it was mainly caused, of course, by the pandemic. The effect of the pandemic on births will probably show up even more this year. Vital statistics for 2020...

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Push on to make Ireland’s abortion law even more permissive

By Dr Angelo Bottone

This week saw the third anniversary of the abortion referendum. A review of the abortion law at the three-year stage was promised by the Government and to mark the occasion, the National Women’s Council in Ireland (NWCI) has released a major report that seeks to make Ireland’s already very liberal abortion regime even more permissive....

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Pain-relief must be compulsory for late-term abortions

By Dr Angelo Bottone

A group of pro-life TDs has presented a Bill that would require doctors to give pain-relief medication to a foetus before it is aborted. There is scientific evidence that babies in the womb can feel pain. In fact, it would be stunning if beyond a certain stage of development, a foetus, being a living human...

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Major new Irish study finds family structure matters

One of the great taboos in modern Irish debate is pointing out that family structure matters, and makes a difference to the lives of children. Such a declaration is considered to be offensive and judgemental. But suppose it is true, and suppose certain family structures do, on average, benefit children more? Does it really serve...

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How an article by a young Catholic mother provoked feminist fury

By Margaret Hickey

A young writer explains on Mother’s Day in the US why she became a mother at 25. Harmless enough you might think? On the contrary, it aroused feminist fury on social media. A nerve had been touched. It’s worth asking, why? In her opinion piece for The New York Times, titled, ‘I Became a Mother at...

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A quarter say ban on public worship harmed their mental health

A new Amarach Research poll commissioned by The Iona Institute has found that 25pc of regular church-goers said the ban on public worship (which was only lifted on Monday) harmed their mental health to some extent. Ireland had the longest prohibition on public worship in the whole of Europe. Other countries permitted public worship after the...

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In practice most people are as pro-eugenics as Richard Dawkins

By David Quinn

On Sunday on RTE radio, Brendan O’Connor gently challenged Professor Richard Dawkins, the famous atheist and scientist, about why he believes it is better for a couple to abort a disabled child rather than carry it to term. Professor Dawkins applied ruthlessly utilitarian logic to the topic. It is because a disabled child is likely...

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Why vaccine passports must not be compulsory

By Dr Angelo Bottone

‘Vaccine passports’, if they are introduced, are documents which would certify that someone has been vaccinated against Covid-19. Without them, you might not be able to access certain places or services. There is even concern churches might insist on them for access to worship. But they are morally problematic for a number of reasons. Of...

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Two radically opposing views battle it out over RSE

By Margaret Hickey

After many skirmishes along the boundaries between Church and State, between traditional faith values and post-modern liberal ones, it appears the question of who should control the Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in Irish schools may be the one to finally draw a hard, new line in the sand between government and hierarchy. The question...

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Covid-19 caused a bigger decline in Catholic weddings than civil ones. Why?

By Dr Angelo Bottone

What effect did Covid-19 have on the number of weddings that took place in Ireland last year compared with 2019? As you can imagine, a very big effect. In fact, the number halved, but the reduction in the number of Catholic weddings was bigger than in the number of civil weddings. Why might that have...

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