Isle of Saints & the Unborn

Seáinín Mac Brádaigh

During Phase 1 of the Brexit talks, the eyes of the world were fixed on the little island of Ireland. How could it be that the future of the major economic powers and, indeed, of Europe itself, should pivot on a country significantly smaller than London. That is the funny thing about the course of the history, often the smallest nations dictate the future of continents in surprising and unexpected ways.

Yet the eyes of the world will turn to Ireland once again in 2018. For several years now, the island’s unique pro-life laws have come under intense scrutiny from an increasingly hostile international order. Repeatedly, supranational organisations such as the United Nations have declared the Republic to be in breach of human rights obligations precisely by maintaining the right to life of the unborn child. It is nothing new that faceless (and not so faceless) lobbies have sought to overturn pro-life laws across the globe. Whether through direct campaigns in parliaments and media, or through the manipulation of the Courts, there are very few places on earth where the sanctity of human life is enshrined in law. Uniquely in western Europe, Ireland is one of those isolates.

The story begins in the very different Ireland of the 1980s. Even then, Ireland was quite isolated in its legal opposition to abortion in Europe. Seeing how abortion had been legalised in other countries either through parliament, or through courts, the pro-life movement successfully ran a campaign to have an amendment inserted into the Constitution.

The constitutional amendment, inserted in 1983, reads:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

What is unique about this, the eighth amendment to the Constitution, is that it removes the power of the State and the Courts to change the law, or legalise Abortion, without a Referendum. It was a legal masterstroke as it prevented the legalisation of abortion in Ireland in the same way it had been legislated for in other parts of the world.

That amendment however is now under threat. The Irish government has been intensely lobbied by various “action groups” to hold a Referendum to remove the amendment, giving the Irish parliament, the Dáil, exclusive rights to legislate on abortion and thus opening the floodgates for the status quo in the rest of Europe; abortion on demand. The process began in 2012 with the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, a young Indian lady who developed sepsis during pregnancy. Mrs. Halappanavar requested an abortion and was informed that abortion was illegal in Ireland and subsequently died. Through well placed sources, the pro-abortion lobby immediately staged this tragedy as a result of the current ban on abortion and successfully exploited public outrage to further their own maleficent ends. To this day, this tragedy is paraded by abortion campaigners despite the fact that the Irish Medical Council found her death had been the result of neglect and an abortion would have done nothing to save her life.

The conversation had been started and the wheels of power got to work. The Government instituted a “Citizens Assembly”, the first step on the road to a Referendum. A Citizens Assembly is a group of 100 voters, “selected at random”, which over the course of several months deliberates on controversial questions. Famously, the Assembly was subjected to bias in something reminiscent of Stalin’s USSR. The number of pro-choice speakers greatly outweighed those who were pro-life and supposed “neutral experts” addressed the Assembly from abortion lobbying groups. The result was clear from the beginning; abortion to be made legal on demand.

The report from the Assembly was then presented to a self-selected Oireachtas (parliamentary) committee. The bias at this point was beyond laughable. No pro-life speakers or presentations were accepted. Unsurprisingly, a majority voted to repeal the constitutional amendment and the motion was set for a Referendum to be held this summer.

In many ways, the odds are not looking good. Ireland has drifted substantially from the Catholic faith since Vatican II. It is an indictment of modern catechesis that, in a nation where the Catholic Church controls 91.1% of schools and where the curriculum states that “religious instruction is by far the most important subject”, the vast majority are completely ignorant of the basics of Christian dogma. The legalisation of “marriage equality” for homosexuals by popular vote demonstrates vividly that the Isle of Saints and Scholars has finally expired. In 1971, weekly attendance at Mass stood at 91%, today it is a mere 35%. In my 26 years of life, the social referendums of divorce, contraception and “gay marriage” were lost by an enfeebled and discredited hierarchy.

Yet, all is not lost. Consistently, the Irish people have been hesitant to support abortion. All polls show that abortion on demand is supported by only a small number of people. The present referendum is aligned with legislation that is very disturbing to a vast swathe of the population and recent polls have shown a marked decline in the support for abortion in all cases. The result hangs on a knife edge. Even at this early stage of the campaign, there are signs for hope.

Yet, you might ask, what has this campaign got to do with us? Ireland is not a part of the United Kingdom and, if abortion is legalised, it will be just another victory of evil in a world that has now forgotten the Divine Law. That is, however, where you are wrong. The result of this referendum is being very closely watched by powerful international organisations. Ireland, a developed country with a buoyant economy offers a contradiction to the world order; only in poor backwards countries is abortion illegal. A leaked document from George Soros’ “Open Society Foundation” outlined the hundreds of thousands of euros it awarded to Irish abortion lobbies to “work collectively on a campaign to repeal Ireland’s constitutional amendment granting equal rights to an implanted embryo as the pregnant woman” and “With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, a win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in Europe, such as Poland, and provide much needed proof that change is possible, even in highly conservative places”.

This fight is not just about Ireland. Powerful forces are marshalling their resources against our pro-life laws and the result will affect not only Ireland, but the unborn in nations across the globe. I ask sincerely that the faithful of Great Britain consider this push by the evil one as an attack on each and every one of you. He, and his servants, might indeed be powerful, but we have something even more powerful; the Holy Rosary. Our Lady promised that, through the Rosary, Satan is defeated and thus I ask each of you to offer your daily rosaries that the Irish Referendum might be defeated. Join with me in presenting our humble prayers to the feet of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, every day that this diabolical effort is thwarted and that our island might remain a contradiction to others. As I stated at the beginning of this piece, the future of continents often pivots on small nations.

So much rests on this referendum. Let it not be yet another victory for Satan but one of his first defeats.

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