Colm King writes:
Once again we notice the general reluctance by the media to criticise Islam compared with the eagerness to vilify Catholicism.
— David Quinn (@DavQuinn) May 24, 2017
There you go now.
From top: The results of a poll on last night’s Claire Byrne Live which was attended by Colm O’Gorman and David Quinn (third pic) and Michael O’Brien, above
On RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live.
Colm O’Gorman, of Amnesty Ireland, and Irish Independent columnist David Quinn, of Iona Institute, joined Claire Byrne for a debate on the Catholic Church and the State.
Members of the audience also spoke, including Michael O’Brien, who, in 2009, spoke on Questions and Answers about the abuse he suffered at an industrial school and how he was told he was telling lies at the Laffoy/Ryan Commission.
Last night, Mr O’Brien accused Mr Quinn of telling him, in a Dáil committee room, that ‘it didn’t happen as bad as you’re saying’. Mr Quinn said he never met Mr O’Brien in a Dáil committee room.
Donald Clarke, of The Irish Times, also spoke from the audience recalling a column he wrote on June 7, 2014, headlined: ‘If you don’t approve of the church then don’t take part in its rituals’.
Readers may wish to note that the latest Census figures for religion won’t be available until October 12.
From last night’s debate.
Michael O’Brien: “All we have is denial, denial, denial. And the one thing that I will propose: that the assets of the Catholic Church be frozen and frozen now. Until the mother and babies, the institutional abuse, the clerical abuse and the magdalene laundries – all that is sorted out for once and for all so that this country can move, as it did years ago, as a peaceful country. And not for us to be listening, day after day, day after day. Because when you talk about abuse, I feel, as if it only happened to me a few minutes ago. And this is the problem we have.”
“The Catholic Church has denied and denied and covered up, from the first day. And not one Bishop, not one who covered it up has been brought into one of our courts.”
Claire Byrne: “Michael, do you not feel that things are moving? When we have the Taoiseach saying, only yesterday, that the church must measure up to the responsibilities that they accepted. Do you not feel that that’s a fundamental shift?”
O’Brien: “I can’t believe the Taoiseach any more because I remember when they removed the ambassador from the Vatican – a big hullaballoo. What did he do? He sent him back again. He put an ambassador back in there again. And went soft on the church. And because the mother and babies [story] came, this disgrace upon all of us, a shame upon all of us, that this thing happened, he now, again, is battering, shouting at the church.”
“I’m shouting at the church because I know what the church done to me and what two or three individuals of the church done to me. It’s easy to stand there, you, David [Quinn]. You know nothing about being raped and buggered. You know nothing about it. I do. I do. And four of my brothers and three of my little sisters – the same thing happened to them. Eight of us from the one family.”
Byrne: “Ok, Michael, I just…”
O’Brien: “So don’t…”
Byrne: “I just don’t want to put David in a position where he’s seen as a denier because he is not.”
Gorman: “It might be useful for me to say something and I completely understand where Michael’s anger and upset and I think it’s quite righteous where it’s coming from. But I do just want to say David [Quinn] and I were talking earlier on about the first time we were in a television studio and on that occasion David was advocating for the church to sell off every asset the church possessed until it properly compensated and dealt with these issues. So…”
David Quinn: “Thank you.”
Gorman: “So, to be fair, David’s been clear. David and I don’t agree on a very significant number of things but, to be fair, he’s also looked for, he’s generally looked for accountability on these issues.”
Byrne: “And I’m glad you made that point. We did ask out Claire Byrne Live/Amarach research panel: should the Government seize church land and property to compensate victims of clerical or institutional abuse – 69% said yes and 17% said no, 14% don’t know. Which is interesting. Because only in the last couple of hours, Minister Leo Varadkar says that property cannot be seized and that, if we ran a referendum on it, that that referendum would be lost. I know that Simon Harris suggested that, over the weekend, that perhaps we could do that. I don’t know, David, if you have a view of that.”
Quinn: “I mean it’s extremely likely it would be lost because you, you’d have to change the constitution in such a way that you make it easy for the State to seize property and, you know, it wouldn’t just be the church that would be affected. Basically, you’d give the State incredibly sweeping powers to seize property. Obviously, in terms of the compensation scheme, the 18 orders around the institutions must contribute their fair share and so the Comptroller and Auditor General released a report and so, if they’re not paying their fair share. Mind you, it also showed, of the 18 orders, most have paid what they said they’d pay and it’s important to put that on the record. The two, which are the biggest ones, which are the Christian Brothers the Mercy sisters, who ran most of the country’s institutions, they have yet to meet their obligations. I hope that happens in time. It ought to happen in time.”
Donald Clarke: “…People who do not believe in the Catholic doctrine, do not believe in all the things that are being said, should not take part in its rituals. These seems a very, very modest proposal to me…”
Previously: Did Your Nan Leave Money To The Nuns?
Watch back in full here
Founder of the Iona Institute, David Quinn
You may recall how, last year, ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum, David Quinn said:
“If they can beat us badly on marriage, they’ll feel they can beat us on the abortion issue. So this is really, really an important battle – not for just what marriage and what the family is all about but for the pro-life section of the constitution, too.”
Mr Quinn, in today’s Irish Independent, writes:
“The big majority of voters in this country, like in every democratic country, vote mainly on the basis of the economy. Only a minority will vote on the basis of social issues. Some of this minority will be attracted to a party because it is ‘liberal’ on social issues and others to a party that is ‘conservative’ on those same issues.”
“…Journalists will incessantly ask a politician who is socially conservative about issues like abortion. It will become very hard for that candidate (or his or her party) to show voters that they also have interesting things to say about the economy which is what will allow them to reach out to more voters. This immediately makes them ‘niche’ candidates and can limit their electorate prospects.”
“Liberal candidates do not have this problem. Their support for the likes of abortion will find favour with most journalists. They won’t be harassed about it at press conferences and will be perfectly free to talk at length and directly to the electorate about the big economic issues. This allows them to appeal to a much bigger section of the electorate than they would if they were seen as social issue candidates only.”
“My suggestion is that if you are pro-life, and you have a Renua candidate locally, find out if they back the Eighth Amendment and if they do, then consider giving them a vote. If pro-lifers don’t do that, then all of those who lost the Fine Gael whip over the abortion issue, not just the members of Renua, might begin to wonder if the pro-life vote is worth courting in any way, shape or form.”
Previously: Poll Position
David Quinn Founder of the Iona Institute, outlines the No Campaign’s strategy for May’s Marriage Referendum.
A masterclass in them and ussery.
Stay for the call and response.
David Quinn: “The referendum coming up is one of the most important we’ve ever faced and, actually, it’s connected, to my mind, with any possible abortion referendum.
If we lose this badly, I think they will have an abortion referendum in 2017. If we keep this close, or we manage to win, it’ll frighten them off an abortion referendum for years to come. So I think, actually, this is connected to protecting the 8th amendment of the constitution which is a pro-life amendment.
So the two issues are linked. If they can beat us badly on marriage, they’ll feel they can beat us on the abortion issue. So this is really, really an important battle – not for just what marriage and what the family is all about but for the pro-life section of the constitution, too.”
“Now what’s at stake here? An awful lot of people around the country, at the moment, who are inclined to vote Yes are asking themselves, ‘well, sure what’s the harm? If two nice fellahs who love each other get married, how does that affect me, what’s the harm? what else does it affect?’ And they can’t think of what else it affects, so they’re inclined to vote Yes.
Now that Yes support is actually quite soft. A lot of the opinion polling is showing it’s soft. So there is still a battle to be fought and it’s a battle we can win if we can persuade enough people, actually, there are consequences that haven’t been thought of yet, that haven’t been flagged to people because, as we know, our media are just, almost completely on the side of the Yes campaign.
And we’re essentially hearing propaganda all the time. Marriage equality, yes to equality, yes to love, equal love, all these sort of mantras and soundbites the whole time.
And I mean I go on a few programmes here and there but it doesn’t compare to very soft interviews with gay rights campaigners on the Late Late Show or the Saturday Night Show or the John Murray Show or the Ray D’Arcy Show or whatever the case may be so there’s been almost uninterrupted propaganda for years.
And it’s intensifying at the moment because they’re trying to get as big a lead as they possibly can before the referendum properly begins towards the end of this month.”
“Now, I’ll get into the substance of the issue in a moment but I mean there’s a lot of heart to be taken from this fact: there’s been many referendum campaigns in which the position favoured by what we call official Ireland and Dublin has started out way ahead and has lost, so there’s been EU treaty referendums, where the pro-EU side has started off massively in front and it’s lost.
There was the recent Seanad referendum, started out way in front and lost, the Oireachtas inquiry referendum started way in front and lost and the children’s rights referendum of 2012, I think it was, the end of 2012, with four weeks to go, the Yes side and it was on 74% and the No side was on 4%. There was practically no No side.
There was John Waters and Kathy Sinnott and a few other people. The No side and the children’s rights campaign spent something like €18,000, the Yes side spent over €1million and all the media on their side and yet, on the day itself, within a space of four weeks, the No side went from 4% to 42%.
Now if that can we done, we can do it in this referendum but do, we can do better because a lot more people are energised to support a No side this time than last time. So don’t be depressed by opinion polls.”
David Quinn: “The right to marry in our constitution comes with the right to found a family and that means the right to have children. When you give someone the right to marry, now you can’t stop people having children if they want to, and they’re not married and they want to have children, they’re going to have children.
But there’s a legally recognised right to have children when you marry under our constitution. So when you’re giving a right to marry, you’re giving a right to have children also. So when you’re giving a right to men to marry you’re also giving them the right to have children, you’re giving two women the right to have children. Now when you give two men the right to have a child, what is missing from the child’s life?”
Audience: “A mother.”
Quinn: “Precisely. And the converse, if you give two women the right to have a child what’s missing from that child’s life?”
Audience: “A father.”
Quinn: “A father. Now this is simply the most basic facts of life. It’s literally baby stuff in every possible sense of that word because it is completely simple to understand and it is literally about babies. And it’s about mothers and fathers. And it’s about the birds and the bees. So, when we talk about giving people rights, you’ve got to consider, would anybody else’s rights be affected. And conversely, by that, would anybody else’s rights be harmed and taken away?
You see people often say, ‘this is like giving the right of a black person to marry a white person because, in certain American states and in South Africa inter-racial marriage is banned and they try to compare this to that, or they try to say it’s like the American south where they had segregation or South Africa where they had apartheid but when blacks were given equal rights, nobody else’s rights were affected. So it was completely fair and acceptable and defensible.
There was nobody…when a black person could sit anywhere they liked on a bus or use any drink fountain or go to any school or get married to whom they liked, nobody else’s rights were affected – least of all the rights of children. But if you give two men the right to have a child, this comes with the right to marriage, or two women the right to have a child, which comes with the right to marriage, it affects the rights of children.
Because if we believe a child is going to have a mother and father, we cannot possibly countenance same-sex marriage, just can’t do it. And the Government knows perfectly well that this is what’s going on.
The Government knows perfectly well that the change in the article involves the family – we are redefining the family. We are kicking out of the law the notion that a child ought to have a mother and a father because what is recognised by our constitution at the moment is the family of man, woman and child.
And we know that not all married couples have children. But we also know that every child has a mother and father and that’s much more fundamental. And even if every man and woman can’t have a child, if they adopt let’s say, they’ll still give the child a mother and father.
So what we’re really saying in our constitution right now is the family is founded on a union of a man and a woman and if a man and a woman got married, and they have a child, that child will have a married mother and father who’re committed to their welfare – that’s what we’re saying.
It is simply a recognition of basic facts of life. Now I believe in calling different things by different names. The union of a man and a woman is clearly different from the union of a man and a man and should be given a different name. I mean a bike and a car are two modes of transport but you give them different names to give them so you know, you can distinguish between the two different things.
So even if we did allow same sex marriage, it will remain a fact that the union of a man and a woman will still be different and should be called something different. So, what’s going on here actually is, we are being asked to pretend that two different things are the same.
We’re being asked to pretend that the union of two men and two women is the same as the union of a man and a woman when they’re clearly not the same and this is why using words like ‘equality’ is completely misleading.”
Dil Wickremasinghe (with bump) and her partner Anne Marie
A happy couple.
A baby shower.
What could possibly go wrong?
Newstalk broadcaster and LGBT activist Dil Wickremasinghe writes:
I woke up last Sunday morning super-excited because my partner had organised a baby shower with my dearest friends that evening. It was meant to be a happy occasion until I looked at my Twitter feed….
These were between a person I had previously blocked and David Quinn of the Iona Institute, demanding to know who the father of my child was. I was speechless. I couldn’t believe that someone at the forefront of an organisation and a campaign could be so insensitive. How could a person who has continuously requested a fair and respectful debate around the upcoming Same-Sex Marriage Referendum make such a personal attack?
Thanks Jane Casey
Kevin Duggan writes:
Front of Catholic Alive! newspaper….are trying to appeal to a new demographic? Looked at article inside, should have guessed what it was about :(
— Senator John Gilroy (@JohnGilroyTeam) September 30, 2014
Mothers and Fathers Matter is a group set up to say exactly that, ‘mothers and fathers matter’. We support and promote a child’s right to a mothers and fathers wherever practicable. We believe that the Government’s new Children and Family Relationships Bill is unjust because it says mothers and fathers don’t matter to children.
Mothers and Fathers Matter includes among its members David Quinn of the Iona Institute (top), Ray Kinsella (centre), a Pro-Life activist and Professor at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business UCD and Tom Finegan (bottom), one-time assistant to Senator Ronan Mullen.
The website shares the same IP address as catholicbishops.ie, catholicireland.net, dublindiocese.ie, and gettingmarried.ie .
All because teh gays want to adopt your children.
Previously: Not So Fast, David