Marriage & the Family

Related 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.

Restoring Balance and Fairness in Family Taxation

5th January 2015

Is the average family more fairly taxed now than they were in 1974?

Taxation and the Family: Restoring Balance and Fairness, the Iona Institute's new paper, analyses tax bands, credits and benefit payments and shows definitively that the answer is no.

You can read the paper here.

Marriage Breakdown and Family Structure in Ireland

31st October 2013

The Iona Institute has published a major new report based on Census 2011 called ‘Marriage Breakdown and Family Structure in Ireland’.

The report shows that between 1986 and 2011 there has been a 500 percent increase in the number of broken marriages in Ireland (affecting 247,000 adults in total).

Pre Budget submission on Tax Individualisation by the Iona Institute

Tax individualisation unfairly increases the pressure on  parents of young children to be in paid employment, rather than care for children at home.

The Iona Institute's pre-Budget submission suggests some ways that this unfairness might be reduced.

You can read the submission in full here.

Child Abuse by Family Structure

October 30, 2012

Child Abuse by Family Structure ~ Why we should protect marriage to protect children.
Report by the Iona Institute 2012 

Click here to download

The Argument for Preserving Marriage in a nutshell

3rd July

Marriage as a social institution has always been about trying to ensure that as many children as possible are raised by their natural mother and father. Research shows that this produces the best outcomes for children.

Ireland, the United Nations and human rights

4th October

Ireland is to appear before the UN Human Rights Council to discuss our human rights record. But UN bodies often radically misinterpret their own treaties.

Peter Saunders: Towards a family friendly tax policy

27th May 2011

Why governments should be fairer to married couples.

Made for children: Why the institution of marriage deserves special status

19th August 2010

The latest paper from The Iona Institute explains why marriage has special status and why this is not discrimination.

A child’s best interests: who decides?

10th June 2010

A referendum on the subject of children's rights could be held by the end of the year. It will introduce the concept of "the best interests of the child" into the Constitution. The key question is who gets to decide what is in the best interest of the child, the State or parents? Our latest briefing note looks at this issue.


Teenage access to contraception

March 24, 2010

The Iona Institute has made a submission to the Law Reform Commission in response to its recent consultation paper ‘Children and the Law: medical treatment’. The submission is written by Professor David Paton of Nottingham University.

Click here to download Professor Paton's Powerpoint presentation on the topic.

Unmarried fathers submission.

January 05, 2010

The Iona Institute has made a submission to the Law Reform Commission in response to its recent consultation paper ‘Legal Aspects of Family Relationships’. 

Making Babies: Regulating the AHR industry

December 06, 2009

Our latest paper is an examination of the Assisted Human Reproduction industry. It is a response to the Government-appointed commission on topic and sets out its own, child-centred, recommendations for the industry. An edited version of the paper can be found by clicking on the image to the right. A full-length version can be found here.

New polls shows majority still believe marriage is better for society than cohabitation.

January 12, 2009

A majority of people continue to believe that marriage is better for society and for children than cohabitation according to a new opinion poll commissioned by The Iona Institute and conducted by Red C. 

Children’s Rights Submission

February 06, 2008

The Iona Institute has made a submission to the Oireachtas Committee examining the proposed children’s rights amendment. 


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Twenty years on from the divorce referendum; who was right?

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Related Talks

Dr Peter Saunders on the unfairness of tax individualisation

Jonas Himmelstrand on Sweden’s failed daycare experiment

Breda O’Brien on Irish social policy’s bias against mothers

More talks


Related Web Links


The Institute for Marriage and Public Policy

Relationship Foundation

The National Fatherhood Initiative

The Heritage Foundation's

Family and Life

The National Marriage Project

The Fatherhood Institute

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada