The Iona Blog

Laws banning protests outside abortion facilities are extremely rare

Minister Simon Harris has promised to introduce “exclusion zones” to prevent protests outside hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries where abortions take place or abortion pills are prescribed.  This would make us the only country in Europe to have such a law, as Lawyers for Choice themselves effectively admitted in a blog recently. Legislation already exists, here...

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New report shows social class hugely impacts on marital breakdown rates

A new report from The Iona Institute called ‘Mind the Gap II’, shows that unskilled workers are more than three times as likely as professional workers to be divorced or separated. The divorce and separation figures are 18.1pc and 6.1pc respectively. (See Note 1 below). The report is a follow-up to a paper issued by...

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The problem with ‘Transitional Justice’

By David Mullins Toward the end of last year, the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, gave the keynote address at an academic conference in Boston College entitled Towards ‘Transitional Justice: Recognition, Truth-telling, and Institutional Abuse in Ireland’. This followed her decision to commence a Commission of Investigation related to the discovery of child and infant remains on...

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Refusing to engage with the ethical harms of surrogacy and donor-conception

The General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill was before the Oireachtas Health Committee this week. The proposed law covers such issues as sperm and egg and embryo “donations”, pre-implantation diagnosis and sex selection, embryonic and stem cell research, etc.  The hearing was anything but constructive. The well-reasoned objections of witnesses like Emma O’Friel...

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Why the State should tax married couples less

Should single people pay less tax and married people pay more than under the present Irish system? That seems to be the gist of an article in the Irish Times this week. In tones of regret, it said that “while society has moved forward in so many ways over recent decades, our tax system still...

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A Tale of Two Bills

By David Mullins   The first Bill in our Tale claims to seek long overdue and radical reform of a centuries old system that some say is permeated with archaic and oppressive practices. This same system has denied countless people fair access while favoring the wealthy or least those with more means than most and despite...

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The Christian contribution to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” So begins the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris 70 years ago, on 10th December 1948. The idea of dignity, which is the basis of any human right, has a long history that...

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Religious persecution continues to rise in the world

The “Religious Freedom in the World 2018” report, newly launched by Aid to the Church in Need, lists grave violations of religious freedom in 38 countries and the situation is clearly worsening. This report assesses the religious situation of 196 countries in the world, looking at legislation, incidents of note, and at a projection of...

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‘Big Picture’ fails to give full picture about women in Ireland

By Margaret Hickey

Last week’s RTE programme about the gender gap in Ireland claimed to offer ‘the big picture’ about the reality of Irish women’s lives today. It certainly failed to do that. The women selected were atypical in terms of their chosen professions and life situations. The scrolling flow of statistics across the screen also failed to...

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Further evidence the Government overestimate day-care demand

The Government is funnelling significant funding to creche facilities, with the hope that more mothers will enter the workforce. The policy ignores the fact that many parents don’t want to put their children into day-care and it also ignores a new study which shows that subsidising day-care might not have much impact on parental choices....

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