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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.

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The Iona Institute helped to represent the almost 750,000 voters who voted against the redefinition of marriage and the family. To keep informed about our activities, please click 'Read More' below.

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Latest News

Small minority seeking schools divestment says head of Catholic Schools Partnership

A leading figure in Catholic education in Ireland has said that only a small percentage of Irish parents would avail of schools under different patronage to the Catholic Church if offered the choice. Speaking on Spirit Radio, Fr Michael Drumm, chair of the Catholic Schools Partnership, pointed to figures compiled by the Irish Government during its 2011 Forum on School Patronage.
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The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, has written to Northern Ireland’s Members of Parliament to call for their opposition to the Assisted Dying Bill when it is debated at Westminster next week. Archbishop Martin, Primate of All Ireland, said in a statement today that he was prompted to contact MPs by “the destructive and pessimistic approach to human life proposed in the Assisted Dying Bill”. He called on Catholics to make their opposition to the legislation known to their respective MPs.
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The Iona Blog

The contradictory findings of the latest childcare poll

A poll conducted by website and looks at the attitude of mothers towards childcare. Media coverage of the poll focused on the finding that 45 percent of mothers said the cost of childcare prevented them returning to work. This would indicate a clamour for State-subsidised childcare. In fact, the findings of the poll were much less straightforward than that.
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Recent and Upcoming Events


The teaching of the Church on marriage today

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, will address The Iona Institute on March 19, 2015 on the topic 'The teaching of the Church on marriage today'.

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Church of Mercy, Church of Standards

Our most recent event dealt with the topic ‘Church of Mercy or Church of Standards?’ At present there is a debate in the Catholic Church about the meaning of mercy. This has been prompted by the emphasis Pope Francis has been placing on mercy, and also by prominence of the topic in the lead-up to the Synod on the Family in Rome.

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