Irish referendum was ‘bought’ with US cash

Irish referendum was ‘bought’ with US cash

The National Catholic Register is claiming that the landslide vote for gay marriage in Ireland at the weekend – regarded my many as a ‘slap in the face’ to the Catholic Church – was the result of millions poured into the country ‘to effectively catalyze the homosexual-rights lobby’.

NCR reporter Victor Gaetan, wrote:

Ireland’s rush to permanently redefine marriage is a startling development for a country that legalized divorce only 20 years ago. How could the nation that ‘saved civilization’ precipitously decide to make its constitution ‘gender neutral’, especially in a section devoted to … the family?

He went on:

Key organizations opposing the radical change believe one answer can be found in the multimillion-dollar external financing program that has quietly poured money into Ireland to fund several homosexual-rights organizations since 2004, especially from US-based Atlantic Philanthropies.

Gaetan said that, although not as well known as the Gates Foundation, Atlantic has a similar pedigree: Billionaire businessman Chuck Feeney is giving away the fortune he made as co-founder of DFS airline duty-free shops.

He quoted Breda O’Brien, a Catholic columnist at The Irish Times as saying that between 2004 and 2014, Feeney’s foundation virtually created the gay-rights movement in Ireland, with direct investment of more than $17 million and “priceless” indirect support.

Last year, Atlantic Philanthropies produced a document explaining the many facets of movement-building support. “Catalyzing LGBT Equality and Visibility in Ireland, 2004-2013” described the programme’s four goals:

  • Deliver legislative change on same-sex partnerships and transgender identity
  • Expand “mainstream services” to include the LGBT community
  • Develop organizational capacity; and
  • Increase cohesion of the groups receiving funding.

To do that, Atlantic awarded multi-year grants, funded staff positions for organizations that, if they existed, had relied on volunteers and brought in international advisers.

For example, 10 years ago, GLEN was a volunteer organization with one paid employee, concentrating on HIV/AIDs prevention.

According to “Catalyzing LGBT Equality”, GLEN’s “multi-year grant from Atlantic enabled them to ramp up their work into a full-time highly professionalized lobbying machine.”

The report boasted:

As a result of Atlantic’s investment, enduring LGBT sector organizations are staffed with highly respected and skilled strategists, lobbyists, campaigners, marketing experts, program managers and community organizers.

A triumphant short film on campaign successes,accompanying the report memorably explains that Atlantic supports small human-rights organizations:

Vulnerable to traditional values.

Carmelite sisters cast their vote at a polling station in Malahide, County Dublin

Would these be ‘No’ votes? Carmelite sisters pictured at a polling station in Malahide, County Dublin

O’Brien pointed out that while the Irish press is normally highly critical of foreign funding for domestic initiatives, Atlantic Philanthropies received no criticism or scrutiny. She called GLEN:

The most successful lobby group in Irish history.

She suggested that her fellow Irish citizens had convinced themselves the “Yes” campaign was the work of a grassroots movement:

Because if we admitted that it is instead a slick, elite movement of highly educated professionals funded from abroad we might have to admit we were skillfully manipulated.

And she concluded:

Can American money buy an Irish referendum? Let’s wait and see.

According to Gaetan, other foreign entities also contributed to the “Yes” cause (albeit in smaller amounts), including the Ford Foundation, the British Council, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the European Commission and California-based Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights.

And he pointed out the the Church did not take an overt stand with regard to the Irish marriage-definition referendum.

A spokeswoman for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin told the Irish Times on Wednesday it was not the archbishop’s policy:

To tell others how to vote except to stress that, given the importance of marriage and the family, decisions should not be taken lightly and that people should be informed of what is involved.

At least one Catholic priest, Father Tim Hazelwood, a parish priest in County Cork, even announced publicly his intention to vote Yes.

On May 23, as many “No” campaigners were conceding defeat in the referendum, the Catholic, pro-marriage group Iona Institute tweeted Mothers and Fathers Matter spokeswoman Eileen King’s message on Irish TV:

We were up against buzzwords and money.

23 responses to “Irish referendum was ‘bought’ with US cash”

  1. Broga says:

    The catholic church would, of course, never do anything to influence the voters. They lack even the grace to be good losers. What they are now doing, as is clear from comments from their bishops, is to assess the mood of their unenthusiastic flock to decide which of their inerrant truths they will now change.

    This is wrapped up in words like learning how to communicate with young people. What they mean is discovering what to say to recover the support of their flock while appearing not to change. Watch for the shuffle, the shiftiness, the deceits, the Jesuitical interpretations of language, the equivocation and the blatant lies presented as facts.

    What they wont do is enter into public debate with challengers to discuss the nature of their “truths” and beliefs.

  2. majii says:

    Those who opposed the legalization of same sex marriage in Ireland are in shock, so they’re looking for any reason to explain why the measure was approved in a landslide. They are like those in America who oppose same marriage—-because they and others they know oppose it, they conclude that the majority opposes it. People like these live in alternate realities where they think that what they believe determines what all others believe.

  3. John the Drunkard says:

    After the papists and mormons flooded California with millions of dollars to pass Proposition 8. They are ‘shocked, shocked’ to discover that they don’t get to exercise exclusive control on THEIR turf?

  4. Of course it couldn’t be that the Irish people rejected the bankrupt moral authority of the Catholic Church and rejected its claimed right to control the lives of others and dictate social policies to a democratic government.

    It couldn’t be that the Irish have finally rejected the medieval divisive morality and hypocrisy of the Catholic Church with its victims and devil figures, in favour of Humanist egalitarianism and inclusion.

    Of course not: the Irish are far too stupid and backward for that. The poor, ignorant, child-like Irish need the Catholic Church to tell them what to think.

    And another nail goes into the coffin of the Catholic Church in Ireland because the Catholic Church is stuck on the horns of a dilemma, unable to give up being Catholic because of dogma and bigotry and so unable to prevent the people from giving up being Catholic because of the Church’s irrelevance.

  5. Caute says:

    Money well spent

  6. Caute says:

    And of course the rcc never ever bought favour.

  7. Caute says:

    Come on Bill Donohue…..we are all waiting for your bile on this one. Come on Bill …give us all another display of your puerile bigotry.

  8. Caute says:

    Come on Bill….when an Irish gay speaks an Irish bigot like you has to listen.

  9. Caute says:

    Come on Bill…Come on Bill

    Let’s hear it Bill.

  10. Peter Kirker (Newark, UK) says:

    Meanwhile the Catholic Church was blowing its riches on child-abuse settlements.

  11. jay says:

    Not sure how accurate that story is. If they directly supported the electoral campaign, it’s probably illegal (at least it would be in US).

  12. L.Long says:

    “Ireland’s rush to permanently redefine marriage …”
    Marriage is not redefined, as it is a contract with the state between two people who are going to live together. What as this have to do with the catlicks???? Catlicks…immoral politically powerful Aholes that use their money and power to force others to live according to their warped BS Dogma. I hope the various priest pass out from the shock.

  13. 1859 says:

    I hope every dime spent will hammer a nail in the coffin of catholicism in Ireland – let the Irish people finally free themselves of this superstitious bigotry and kick the catholic church out of their politics and society. If the LGBT did receive funds, so what? They needed it and they used it well – good for them. Let’s hear how much the RCC spent on the anti campaign.

  14. Har Davids says:

    A spokeswoman for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin told the Irish Times on Wednesday it was not the archbishop’s policy “TO TELL OTHERS HOW TO VOTE”!! That’s a new one.

  15. Ex Patriot says:

    Well done Irish

  16. AgentCormac says:

    More bad news for the vile catholic church and its simple-minded anglican couterpart.

  17. AgentCormac says:

    BTW, is that nun sporting a large plaster on her noggin because she’s spent a lifetime banging her head against a brick wall? Just a thought.

  18. Angela_K says:

    The fact the Catholic church with its obscene wealth couldn’t “buy” the referendum is a sign that the people of Ireland are dumping dogma and thinking for themselves. I note the equal marriage opponents are rather quiet about all the money they received from American evangelicals and other hate groups.

  19. Stuart H. says:

    If professional Irish Catholic lobbyists had an ounce of self-respect they’d be asking why a liberal American felt the need to play the same role in Ireland as George Soros has in Hungary, and what does that say about the screwed up state of Ireland and the paucity of public debate or balanced information in the years he felt that necessary.
    I suspect for the same reasons as Soros, some of whose grant recipients I know personally. These included the virulent racism and anti-semitism provoked by Catholic and Lutheran church leaderships who in my personal experience, for example, told their flocks to oppose the opening of Tesco and Marks and Spencer stores because they were owned by ‘foreign Jews’.
    Again from personal experience, we can also totally ignore that misleading claim about the British Council. Their sole business is cultural exchanges with other countries on behalf of the UK government (art, music, literature etc.), so if that claim was examined it will be found that all they did was to make a tour or exhibition by an openly gay artist available for any school, college or small arts venue that might be interested.

  20. zombiehunter says:

    I had a feeling something like this would happen, the no voters would be all butthurt and claim the whole thing is a conspiracy

    fucking twats

  21. Cali Ron says:

    Funny that the catholic church says the Irish were easily led astray by American money while the deeply entrenched, very deep pocketed catholic church was powerless to stop it. REALLY? Did it occur to them that maybe the Irish people are not stupid and are finally rejecting the catholic church after revelations of pedophilia with million dollar lawsuit payouts to cover it up, single mothers treated like slaves and buried in unmarked mass graves, and just a general habit of lying to their followers as they pocket their money.

    Erin Go Bragh!

  22. gedediah says:

    All the funding did was to help get the message across to the public. It didn’t create the message. The RCC can’tcope with the fact that Ireland heard both sides and rejected theirs.