Group funded by American billionaire launches complaint against Ireland’s pro-life laws
ROME, October 25, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Irish Council of Civil Liberties has launched a complaint to the Council of Europe, saying that Ireland’s refusal to legalise abortion is an obstruction to obtaining full “equality” for women. The ICCL is a project of Chuck Feeney, a US-based billionaire and philanthropist and one of the major forces for leftward “progressivist” change in Ireland.
Pro-life advocates in Ireland say that one of their biggest problems is not the waffling of government officials, but the well-funded and highly coordinated lobbying campaigns by special interest groups, largely obscured from public view. Ironically, they say, the ICCL has highlighted these groups’ undemocratic mandate in their action to the Council of Europe. In its complaint the ICCL says that the Irish public and government are “resistant” to abortion legalisation, something pro-life groups have said is an indication of the ICCL’s contempt for the democratic process.
“The ICCL … operate pretty much independently of the Irish people, and if their funding sources are anything to go by, are answerable only to Chuck Feeney,” Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute said.
The ICCL issued a complaint in early October to the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton TD, criticising the “political intransigence” of the Irish government in refusing to overturn the country’s constitutional protections for the unborn in response to the 2010 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights on the A, B and C case.
An ICCL press release October 5th reveals the particularly anti-Catholic nature of the complaint, accusing Seán Brady, the Cardinal Primate of Ireland, of launching a “political campaign on this issue by the Church,” implying that Catholic priests and laity have no right to voice their objections to abortion. ICCL complained that Brady told the Dáil Deputies and Ministers that bishops and priests are ready to lobby the government should there be any attempt to legalise abortion.
“We wish the Committee of Ministers to be fully aware of the background of religious conservatism and political intransigence into which the report of the expert group on the implementation of this important judgment will be released,” ICCL Director Mark Kelly said.
The ICCL’s submission is part of a larger coordinated project by various groups to try to force the government to interpret the ECHR ruling as a demand for abortion legalisation, an interpretation the court itself denied. The Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) made a similar complaint to the Council of Europe. The IFPA is the same abortion advocacy agency that launched the ABC case to the ECHR, and is currently under investigation by Health Service Executive officials and police for allegedly giving dangerous and illegal abortion-related advice to pregnant women.
The ICCL complaint is a good sign for the pro-life side, however, said Uí Bhriain, and indicates that abortion campaigners are now “desperately appealing to every outside agency possible because they had failed to win the support of the Irish people, and feared that the political parties were becoming increasingly cautious of approaching the abortion issue.”
A facet of the pro-life fight that is not widely understood by the general public is the role of a small cadre of hard-left billionaires, sometimes called “champagne Socialists,” of whom Chuck Feeney, a dual American and Irish citizen, is a modest member. His Atlantic Philanthropies, to which he has transferred the bulk of his fortune, makes the abortionist and homosexualist agendas, particularly in the Irish Republic, a major interest.
Founded in 1976 by, among others, the pro-abortion former Irish President Mary Robinson, ICCL boasts on its website of having influenced the Irish government to legalise divorce, “secure more effective protection of children’s rights,” decriminalise homosexual activity and introduce “enhanced equality legislation”. ICCL is a Feeney project, funded through Atlantic Philanthropies to the tune of US $7,727,700 since 2001.
Discovering Atlantic Philanthropies and Feeney’s political agenda in Ireland is not difficult. The organisation issued a press release in July this year congratulating the grantee group the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) for having successfully installed homosexual civil partnership legislation, and saying the “next stop” is “civil marriage”. GLEN has been supported by Atlantic Philanthropies for US $4,727,860 since 2005.
Lauded by academia and often plied with honourary doctorates, feted by the media who support their agenda, wealthy elites like Feeney have used their position and wealth to push for a radical re-ordering of the western world. Names like Maurice Strong, George Soros, and Warren Buffett are not often mentioned in news reports, but one of the major areas of their interest is furthering the population control efforts that were officially launched by the US government, at the instigation of Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. Better known among this group are names such as Ted Turner, Bill and Melinda Gates, the Ford Foundation and Hewlett-Packard.