By Dave Andrusko
Back in December we wrote about the ongoing fight between Ireland’s Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) which is charged with overseeing Ireland’s electoral funding law and pro-abortion George Soros’s Open Society Foundation, which has poured money into Ireland to undermine the country’s staunchly pro-life environment.
That fight continues to escalate, given more importance in light of the decision of the Republic of Ireland’s Parliament to hold a referendum on the Eighth Amendment which affords equal rights to unborn children and their mothers.
Over the weekend the Irish newspaper The Journal.ie ran a long, long story detailing the ever-more heated back and forth between SIPO and Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland over a grant of some $160,000 the Irish affiliate received from Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
As we reported back in December, SIPO said the money “violated Irish law barring foreign donations to third party groups seeking to influence the outcome of a referendum campaign.” O’Gorman, said that his organization would oppose the election funding law. “Amnesty International will not be complying with the instruction from the SIPOC and will deploy every means at its disposal to challenge this unfair law,” he said.
In this context what O’Gorman called Amnesty International’s “human rights work” is the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Republic of Ireland’s constitution which acknowledges “the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother.”
In the Journal’s account, O’Gorman tried a different tack. He took the high road, arguing not only that his organization had done nothing wrong but also that
“If that were to be applied to organisations in Ireland, it would pretty much shut down the majority of civil society organisations that work for human rights, that work for equality, that work for environmental rights, social justice, anything that seeks to inform or challenge or influence decisions that are made in the Oireachtas or decisions that are made by government or even by a local council.”
This prompted Savethe8th to accuse O’Gorman of “prevaricating.”
“SIPO’s findings are clear, and nothing in Irish law prevents advocacy groups from operating. If the public cannot trust O’Gorman to obey the law, they cannot trust him to tell the truth.”
Savethe8th Communications Director John McGuirk added
“Mr. O’Gorman has repeatedly refused to obey the law, and is pretending that this is some grave matter of human rights. It is not. …. This is an attempt to steal a referendum with illegal foreign cash. Amnesty are in breach of a clear instruction from the Standards in Public Office Commission. This taints every action his organisation takes in this campaign.”
Critics say the $160,000 is just a pittance of the foreign money being spent to gut the Eighth Amendment. According to Breitbart News.
Niamh Ui Bhriain, a spokesman for the Life Institute in Ireland, told Breitbart News in August the funding being debated is only “the tip of the iceberg, because almost €20 million has been poured into pro-abortion coffers in Ireland in the past decade to soften up Ireland to repeal the right to life of unborn children.”