Subscribe to the Iona Institute website SMake a donation to the Iona Institute

Iona Documents

Legal Opinion: The rights of a mother and father in light of the proposed referendum

If we pass the marriage referendum as the Government wants, it will have profound changes on how we view the family in our law. A major legal opinion commissioned by The Iona Institute examines this question. It shows that our ability to give preference to motherhood and fatherhood in Irish law will be severely and probably wholly undermined.

The opinion by Michael Collins SC and Paul Brady BL examines the Constitution, and in particular Article 41, called ‘The Family’, in the light of various rulings by the Supreme Court. 

It shows that the constitutionally protected right to marry is also a constitutionally protected right to have children. The right to marry therefore is unavoidably linked to the rights of children.

Read more here.

Download here »

Topics and Resources

About the Iona Institute

The Iona Institute promotes the place of marriage and religion in society. Our starting point in debates about the family is that all children deserve the love of their own mother and father whenever possible. We believe in publicly-funded denominational schools. We also promote freedom of conscience and religion.

The Iona Institute is headed by religious and social affairs commentator, David Quinn.

Why We Should Vote No in the Marriage Referendum 

Our one-minute video makes the case for a No vote on May 22nd. Cut through the spin, ignore the pressure, and find out the facts for yourself.

Read More

Latest News

Senior Lawyers urge No vote in marriage referendum

A GROUP of senior lawyers have today issued a major statement outlining seven reasons why the Irish people should vote No in the marriage referendum next week.
Read more »

Two heterosexual men will be allowed to marry if marriage referendum passes

The Referendum Commission has confirmed to The Iona Institute that two heterosexual men or women will be allowed to marry each other under the proposed new law should the marriage referendum be carried on May 22
Read more »

More News Articles

The Iona Blog

The effects of the proposed amendment on future laws: a response

On the "Constitution Project" blog recently, Dr Conor O'Mahony of UCC Law Department, took issue with points made by Dr Tom Finegan of Mothers and Fathers Matter on the likely effects of the proposed referendum on future laws on adoption, surrogacy and donor-assisted human reproduction. Now, Dr Finegan responds to Dr O'Mahony's critique explaining why it ignores several key factors and fails to rebut the No side's legal analysis.
Read more »

More blogs

Recent and Upcoming Events


The teaching of the Church on marriage today

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin, will address The Iona Institute on March 19, 2015 on the topic 'The teaching of the Church on marriage today'.

Read more »


Church of Mercy, Church of Standards

Our most recent event dealt with the topic ‘Church of Mercy or Church of Standards?’ At present there is a debate in the Catholic Church about the meaning of mercy. This has been prompted by the emphasis Pope Francis has been placing on mercy, and also by prominence of the topic in the lead-up to the Synod on the Family in Rome.

Read more »

More Events
Follow Iona on Twitter