For those of you who have never heard of Youth Defence it is an Irish “pro-life” (more accurately, they are anti-choice) group. It is full of fascists, misogynists, homophobes and violent thugs who spread lies and misinformation, and do so via intimidation. This morning the website of this group was hacked by someone looking to tell the truth behind this disgraceful organisation. It shouldn’t be long before the site is fixed and returned to its hateful and dishonest normal form but below is a copy+paste job of what it currently looks like.
My heartiest admiration and deepest respect to the man/woman behind this hacktivism. =)
This is not the hate-filled truth-distorting website you’re looking for.
Note: We the Irish do not appreciate US organisations pouring money into shady groups here to try change our rules and society for their own gains. Youth Defence has been the seed of more hatred here that any group in a long time. It has to stop.
Youth Defence is not what you think it is. Youth Defence is an extremist group who actively hide their links to shady right-wing connections and where their funding comes from. Let’s blow the lid.
Original leaders include Fr. Maurice Colgan (more on him below) & Justin Barret, a man with known links to neo-Nazi movements (speaking at NDP events in Germany) and who has campaigned in the past against divorce, contraception & gay rights. In his book he has even described immigration as “genocidal”. He has also spoken at multiple Forza Nuova (Italian far-right group) rallies in the past. Recently, it was shown that current leaders have been known to associate themselves with the likes of, Michael Quinn, a prominent member of the Irish far-right group, the Irish National Brotherhood (INB) who happens to be a proud fan of the Greek far-right political party the Golden Dawn and who constantly tweets about his hatred for ‘negros’. Quinn would like us to believe that when the IMF assisted Ireland during the bailout one of the terms they demanded was that Ireland needed to install abortion on demand. It has been revealed that Quinn is a close friend of a certain Fr. Maurice Colgan. Colgan, as you may know since you are visiting this cesspit of a website is a founding member of Youth Defence. Certainly, Fr. Colgan’s Neo-Nazi sympathies cannot be denied, he even once lived with a certain Anthony Barnes (lead singer of the whiney, untalented Dublin Neo-Nazi band, Celtic Dawn). What would the church say of this relationship? A man, cohabiting with another man and their shared affinity with the far-right.
Let us not forget too, that both he and Barret were arrested after violence broke out and member of An Garda Siochana were assaulted when the Youth Defence thought it would be a nice idea to protest outside the rooms of terminally ill patients at Adelaide Hospital in 1999.
Youth Defence are classified as a charity, in Irish law a charity must disclose donations over €100 and are not allowed to accept donations over €2500. They have yet to allow the Public Office Commission to see where they are getting their money from. Given the scope of their advertising campaign it can only be assumed that they are receiving funds from an individual or a group who they don’t want the public to know about. But what we do know is that they are certainly funded from outside of Ireland by right-wing neo-conservative Americans (more below). Indeed, if you were screwed up enough to donate to Youth Defence you would have noticed that on their donation form the currency was American dollars. It has only recently been changed to the currency of Ireland, the Euro. This website isn’t even hosted in Ireland. It’s on a North American server.
It has recently been shown too that the vast majority of Youth Defence’s Twitter followers are not Irish. 59% of followers are from the USA and Canada. Only 14% are from Ireland. It’s also been shown that their Facebook page (around 72,000 Likes), 38,000 are from the USA, while only 9,000 are from the island of Ireland.
Office Association & Hiding the Books
Youth Defence claim to be based at Life House, Number 60a, Capel Street, Dublin. The small office is shared among quite a few anti-choice organisations. They include: Coir, the Life Institute, the Mother & Child Campaign, Pro-Life Alliance, prolifeinfo.ie, Truth TV, and of course Youth Defence. That’s quite a few different organisations running from one small office. You’ve got to wonder whether funds are transferred between them legally. Probably not, what a silly question. Irish authorities have never been allowed to get their hands on their accounting books. Why, you ask. Well, these crafty so-and-so’s continue to evade the authorities. An Irish registered charity must document all donations above a certain amount. However, Youth Defence and their cohorts, while it’s plain to see are lobbying entities (funded by charity), refute this and claim they are “education spreading” entities. Let’s take a look at who are really funding Youth Defence and their sister organisations:
Where the Funding Comes From
Are they funded by Irish anti-choice campaigners?
To a small extent, but the vast amount of money comes from America. Sure, if you’ve ever even attended one of their organised events you’ll have noticed that a huge proportion of the people attending are not only not Irish, they aren’t even European. It’s well known that North American fundamental Christians are flown in to boost their numbers.
Why does the funding come from America?
Well, that’s easy to answer, if these 3 American men below can secure Ireland as remaining without abortion then they can use our country as a beacon for their anti-choice campaigns in America. They can show that Ireland remains strongly Catholic, and the last great bastion of Christian faith in Europe, fighting the so-called “good fight”.
They have zero problem with Irish women leaving Ireland for Britain to have abortions. Zero. They just want Ireland to remain “abortion free” so they can claim a moral victory in Western Europe and try to push for a similar occurrence in America.
These men, play on the emotions of Irish-Americans and sure, don’t we all know that the plastic paddy diaspora know what’s best for us. Those who actually live thousands of kilometres away from the coal-face. Those who chose to leave Ireland, let’s remind ourselves that while we all have, and know plenty of families that have been decimated by immigration, it was always a choice. Not since the days of Cromwell have people been forced to leave Ireland. Now, thankfully, those that look back at the auld sod and see us as still being the backwater we were when they left are taking it upon themselves to try and dictate things from afar. Sure, it’s for our own good, they quite clearly have our best interests at heart. We’re too close to the action, sure how could we know what’s best? We only effing live here!
Let’s take a gander at these specimens of men.
Joe Scheidler (Founder of the Pro-Life Action League)
Known as the man who “defined pro-life direct action”. He once penned a book entitled “Closed – 99 Ways to Stop Abortion”. Where chapters include titles such as: Sidewalk Counselling, Adopt an Abortionist, Strategies for Closing Abortion Mills, and Getting Pro-Life Information into High Schools. The last one particularly applies to Ireland, haven’t you heard recently about some Irish schools where the sex education book being used encourages abstinence and discourages all types of contraception? Well, that’s thanks to one of the above “education spreading” organisations.
Scheidler’s link with Ireland is quite dubious, he simply sees Ireland as somewhere that the battle against abortion can actually be won and wants to use the ‘success’ of Youth Defence & the Life Institute here as a springboard for his campaigns in the good old U.S. of A. This is a man who once described the protection of abortion clinic workers as nothing more than “an event the media are focusing on the take attention away from Obama’s failed domestic financial policies”.
He once tracked down an 11 year old pregnant girl, (he’d seen a report about her on TV, and then hired a private investigator) to her house where he confronted the girl’s mother (screaming from a neighbouring balcony and armed with a loudspeaker) to try and convince them to not go through with an abortion.
Oh, and how do we know he’s one of the ones behind the funding of the Irish operations? Well, that’s easy, he admitted it in an interview with the Sunday Business Post not so long ago. He believes that those who carry out abortion procedures and the women who have the procedure done should face the death penalty. He also believes that America is involved in a civil war against pro-choice activists. He has described Don Benny Anderson, responsible for the kidnapping of abortion clinic worker Dr Hector Zevallos and his wife, and Peter Burkin, who carried out firebombing attacks on two abortion clinics, as “sound as a dollar”.
He’s clearly loopy, yet he’s somehow allowed to run fundraising campaigns in the States to fund the likes of Youth Defence here.
Schittl is American and moved to Ireland around 1998 and studied in Trinity College. On obtaining Irish citizenship in 2005, he bailed out and returned to the States where he is now president of Life House. Where have we seen that name before? Oh yeah, on Capel Street in Dublin. Life House are an “… American, tax-exempt organisation… [whose] purpose is to help make sure Ireland remains pro-life and abortion-free, and make it easier for Americans to support Ireland’s pro-life success story”. How nice of them to send some money our way, you gotta love those plastic paddies, they always know what’s best for us, stuck here in our rain-soaked homeland.
Finally! One with an Irish surname at least, but fear not, he’s not actually Irish either, he just lived here for 10 years. Sullivan is a founding member of the Divine Mercy Project. He’s also a founding member of a group called Go First Ministries, “a Catholic outreach to persons who experience same sex attraction” in other words, where Catholic teens are sent by their conservative, homophobic parents to try to pray their homosexuality out of themselves.
Sullivan also campaigns for funds to be sent to Ireland, so as to keep Ireland abortion free and because he believes “that Ireland is a key to the re-evangelisation of the world”.
The Ancient Order of Hibernians
The single greatest organisation of plastic paddies the world has ever seen. Ultra Catholic and ultra conservative. They still believe that Kathleen Ni Houlihan is alive and well and that the menfolk of Ireland still walk our rain-sodden streets with flat caps and shillelaghs and wood pipes and the womenfolk wear shawls and dance barefoot at crossroads. The above three prey on the rose-tinted, distant memories of the members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (cool name and all that it is) and receive vast amounts of dollars to spend on anti-choice campaigns held in the homeland of their distant, distant ancestors, y’know, the ones who left Ireland, by choice, a long, long time ago.
They also believe that EU law, (the one that says Ireland needs to clarify its stance on abortion) “emanates from Britain”.
Scare Tactics, Illegal Advertising & Propaganda
Youth Defence have been constantly smearing the country with their billboards, posters and leaflets, all of which are misleading, most of which are outright lies. They contain the following filth:
- Images of aborted foetuses (although some are photos of healthy C-section babies, but let’s not let facts get in the way of their lies) and other death porn
- Unsavoury captions
- Flyers detailing that babies have been born so their organs could be harvested
- Robocalls, people have been pestered with hateful messages by an autodialler
- Eddie Shaw, headmaster of Harold School in Dublin put leaflets in children’s school bags
They do this for one reason, to scare rational minded people into doing what the Youth Defence want them to. Even the way they talk is geared that way:
Youth Defence’s propaganda-like guide entitled “When They Say… You Say” includes:
- Don’t say DOCTOR, PHYSICIAN – say ABORTIONIST
- Don’t say PRO-CHOICE – say PRO-ABORTION
- Don’t say ANTI-ABORTION – say PRO-LIFE
- Don’t say FOETUS – say UNBORN CHILD, PRE‐BORN CHILD, BABY
Here is some of the lies currently being told over and over:
- Savita Praveen Halappanavar. Youth Defence still believe that her death was “not caused by Ireland’s ban on abortion”
- The harvesting of baby organs. They actually tell people that abortion happens in some cases to provide the father with organs from the baby!
- Lying about Fine Gael’s pre-election promise. The promise was to talk about the issue, not to keep the same law
- Smearing human faeces on their own building (claiming it wasn’t them)
- Bragging that the Irish Times “reported” that there were 10,000 people at an organized Youth Defence event. What the Irish Times actually said was this:
- Organisers –Youth Defence, the Life Institute, and Family and Life – estimated that more than 10,000 people attended the vigil. Gardaí would not confirm a figure when contacted. So, in fact, they boasted about their estimation. Good job, lads.
Let’s have a look at some violent incidents their ‘non-violent’ protests have been involved in:
In 1992 on Thomas Street, Dublin, Youth Defence attacked and assaulted pro-choice campaigners, causing many injuries.
6th July 1994, Youth Defence attacked a group of Pro-Choice protesters in Buswells Hotel, opposite Dáil Eireann. Youth Defence members came into the hotel and threw missiles at both the protesters and ordinary customers. The Gardaí arrived and put both groups out into the street, where scuffles continued for some time. The Gardaí intercepted a Youth Defence van containing a gang of men armed with hurleys and other weapons.
In 1995, a number of Youth Defence members were arrested after their picket became violent outside the office of Co. Wexford T.D., Brendan Howlin, Irish Minister of Health at the time.
1998, 12 Youth Defence members occupied the Marie Stopes Reproductive Choices clinic on Blessington Street. An elderly staff member was physically assaulted.
In 1999, members of staff of the Irish Family Planning Association were assaulted. The association’s clinic on Cathal Brugha Street was occupied by hundreds of Youth Defence supporters, and the IFPA’s director, Tony O’Brien, was continually harassed. Among the group were 40 Americans, led by Fr. Pat Mahoney of the Washington DC group ‘Christian Defense Coalition’.
Following the occupation, Youth Defence continued to picket the IFPA clinic and also plastered the city with ‘anonymous’ posters claiming that Tony O’Brien, director of the IFPA, ‘Exports Irish Babies for Slaughter’. The poster included a picture of Tony O’Brien.
In 1999, the Adelaide Hospital incident spoken about above, where Youth Defence members decided to protest outside the rooms of terminally ill patients.
Also in 1999, The Ulster Pregnancy Advisory Service in Belfast announced that it was closing down as a result of the intimidation and pickets placed on its members by the ‘Precious Life’ group. An arson attack and burglary incident had also taken placed at the UPAA office. Precious Life, based in Ballymena, is the Northern branch of Youth Defence.
Questions we want you to think about
- Do these people have your interests at heart?
- If what they’re trying to achieve is truly right then why do they need to lie so much?
- Why do they think that they are exempt from Irish law?
- Why do they continue to not allow Irish authorities to look at how they receive their funding?
- Youth Defence on Wikipedia
- Justin Barrett on Wikipedia
- River of Bile on Steroids
- My challenge to Youth Defence about fundraiser Joseph Scheidler disrupting abortion clinics
- School chair resigns in anti-abortion row
- YOUTH DEFENCE FLOUTS DCC RULES
- Youth Defence articles on Broadsheet
- The Problem with Youth Defence
- Youth Defence unrepentant as eight convicted
- Opposite The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
- Clashes with Youth Defence 1992 – 1995
- Why American Pro-Life Dollars Are Pouring Into Ireland
- Youth Defence billboard posters not covered by advertising standards