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International funding for Irish Referenda

  • 10-12-2017 4:06pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,201 ✭✭✭


    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/amnesty-international-ordered-to-return-donation-from-billionaire-george-soros-1.3320638

    Amnesty International have acted illegally in breach of Irish law by accepting donations from billionaire Cultural Marxist George Soros to push their Marxist Far-Left agenda in Ireland.

    Chieft-Executive of Amnesty Ireland Colm O'Gorman has said they will refuse to hand back the money to George Soros in clear violation of Irish law. The Govt needs to take a very hard line on this and give an ultimatum that unless the money is returned then they should move to prosecute and jail those involved for trying to undermine the entire debate on Abortion. I would go so far as to add that this revelation undermines any attempts to change the laws on abortion and that a referendum should now be postponed on the issue due to foreign outside influence on it. This something for the Irish to decide and there can be no outside outside influence allowed to influence it.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,463 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Mod note:

    Thread title amended to reflect the topic rather than the news headline.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,979 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    Doltanian wrote: »
    I would go so far as to add that this revelation undermines any attempts to change the laws on abortion and that a referendum should now be postponed on the issue due to foreign outside influence on it. This something for the Irish to decide and there can be no outside outside influence allowed to influence it.

    And you were doing so well until you came up with this bit of BS.


  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,265 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell


    “Marxist” is an odd way of describing a billionaire investor.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,795 ✭✭✭CrabRevolution


    “Marxist” is an odd way of describing a billionaire investor.

    Reminds me of a thread in the farming forum where removing EU+state support for Irish farmers and leaving them to sink or swim at the mercy of the market was described as "leftist thinking".


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,158 ✭✭✭frag420


    So the anti repeal side are getting absolutely no funding from outside the Irish border at all, none whatsoever?

    The IONA and similar get all there funding from within the Irish border yeah?



    Doltanian wrote: »
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/amnesty-international-ordered-to-return-donation-from-billionaire-george-soros-1.3320638

    Amnesty International have acted illegally in breach of Irish law by accepting donations from billionaire Cultural Marxist George Soros to push their Marxist Far-Left agenda in Ireland.

    Chieft-Executive of Amnesty Ireland Colm O'Gorman has said they will refuse to hand back the money to George Soros in clear violation of Irish law. The Govt needs to take a very hard line on this and give an ultimatum that unless the money is returned then they should move to prosecute and jail those involved for trying to undermine the entire debate on Abortion. I would go so far as to add that this revelation undermines any attempts to change the laws on abortion and that a referendum should now be postponed on the issue due to foreign outside influence on it. This something for the Irish to decide and there can be no outside outside influence allowed to influence it.


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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    isn't there a rather large and very wealthy international organisation based in Rome, that is also trying to influence the abortion debate?


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,659 Mod ✭✭✭✭Manach


    “Marxist” is an odd way of describing a billionaire investor.

    You seem to have trouble with cutting and pasting. Cultural was the modifying adjective first used. That which seems to be underlying many of the -isms to are driving Ireland to embrace the Sweden lite model. But to assist your understanding a bit more, plenty of people got rich under the marxist model - just called themselves servants of the people who well benefited under the party model and toeing the line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,067 ✭✭✭Gunmonkey


    Doltanian wrote: »
    The Govt needs to take a very hard line on this and give an ultimatum that unless the money is returned then they should move to prosecute and jail those involved for trying to undermine the entire debate on Abortion. I would go so far as to add that this revelation undermines any attempts to change the laws on abortion and that a referendum should now be postponed on the issue due to foreign outside influence on it. This something for the Irish to decide and there can be no outside outside influence allowed to influence it.

    So...we can never have an abortion referendum then! Seeing, as others highlighted, massive swathes of the populous have had their opinion doctored by the Catholic Church. Every time we are going to have a referendum, will a priest or nun wander up to one random person and go "De babi Jesus wouldnt like this to pass"

    And judging by the part I bolded, will we see the IONA institute have its funding cut and membership locked up? Or if you really want to push this "Lock them up" agenda, would we see priests and bishops in handcuffs?

    You cant go the whole "Rabble-rabble it should be a vote for the Irish" and advocate jail terms and such but only when it favours your viewpoint!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭Red_Wake


    Amnesty International are worse than the RCC for pontificating, I wouldn't pay them any heed.

    Their condemnation of the SCC alone marks them out as fools.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,147 ✭✭✭✭blanch152


    SIPO are correct to act in the way they did, as the law is clear on this issue.

    It sends a message to both sides of this debate, which both sides need to hear and listen to. Foreign interference in Irish domestic politics is unacceptable whether that be bishops in Rome, George Soros, Amnesty International, Putin or various Irish-Americans funding SF, FG or FF.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,050 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    blanch152 wrote: »
    SIPO are correct to act in the way they did, as the law is clear on this issue.

    It sends a message to both sides of this debate, which both sides need to hear and listen to. Foreign interference in Irish domestic politics is unacceptable whether that be bishops in Rome, George Soros, Amnesty International, Putin or various Irish-Americans funding SF, FG or FF.

    The problem is that both sides have skin in the game. The liberals will overlook gifts from the likes of Soros while moaning about the Catholic Church, Rome, Iona, etc while the conservatives will criticise Soros as interfering in a domestic plebiscite, which he is but will happily accept funding if it supports their side.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 57 ✭✭angiogoir


    Personally I'd remove all foreign funding from NGOs seeking to change our laws. But failing that all funding received should be made public and the exact expenditure set out.
    However, SIPO preclude Amnesty and other pro-choice groups from getting funding, not for their operations, but for getting money to fund political campaigns. Amnesty, unlike one of the other pro-choice groups, are refusing to return the money. Thus they appear to be breaking the law. If this isn't proof that our NGO sector is out of control then nothing is.

    As to pro-life groups getting funds from abroad, they do, but it appears to pale in comparison to the huge sums sent by wealthy Americans to the pro-choice side, and in earlier referendum campaigns, too.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 37,050 CMod ✭✭✭✭ancapailldorcha


    angiogoir wrote: »
    Personally I'd remove all foreign funding from NGOs seeking to change our laws. But failing that all funding received should be made public and the exact expenditure set out.
    However, SIPO preclude Amnesty and other pro-choice groups from getting funding, not for their operations, but for getting money to fund political campaigns. Amnesty, unlike one of the other pro-choice groups, are refusing to return the money. Thus they appear to be breaking the law. If this isn't proof that our NGO sector is out of control then nothing is.

    As to pro-life groups getting funds from abroad, they do, but it appears to pale in comparison to the huge sums sent by wealthy Americans to the pro-choice side, and in earlier referendum campaigns, too.

    I don't know how things are done for Irish referenda but in the UK where they are much less common, there is a referendum commission to ensure fairness. In the EU membership referendum of yesteryear, the official Remain and Leave campaigns were each allowed to spend no more than £7 million. Where that comes from isn't really relevant as both sides can only spend up to the same limit.

    We sat again for an hour and a half discussing maps and figures and always getting back to that most damnable creation of the perverted ingenuity of man - the County of Tyrone.

    H. H. Asquith



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,238 ✭✭✭✭Frank Bullitt


    Seems like a fairly draconian law that has been brought up to the top.

    Twitter is a dam sight more interesting seeing David Quinn etc lose their minds over it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 657 ✭✭✭Vladimir Poontang


    Nobody should be getting outside funding. End of story.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,463 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Its a tricky one because I'm not sure an outright ban on foreign donations with a political purpose is fair. Would it be wrong for a NGO to support an anti corruption campaign in another country?

    What about say Peter McVerry? Most of his funding goes to homeless people what if they advocate for more spending on homeless sehelters or stronger anti eviction laws. Do they then preclude foreign donations.

    Also, in an open economy whats to stop a non Irish person setting up an Irish organisation/company that then paying the money that way?

    Turning to the specific legislation, as long as the overseas donations are properly declared I dont really see the problem, if they are from individuals or companys. The other side can use it to political advantage by saying that the other side is supported by X person. Or not, as the case may be. In this scenario, maybe voters would be swayed by the fact that a group is backed by X. If such is sufficiently bad it probably damages them more than the benefits of the donations.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,238 ✭✭✭✭Frank Bullitt


    Loving how Iona are the big complainers in this, despite them not disclosing the sources of their donations themselves...


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,913 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    Gintonious wrote: »
    Loving how Iona are the big complainers in this, despite them not disclosing the sources of their donations themselves...

    But they did as they are SIPO compliant are they not?

    Broadsheet.ie did a piece on it yesterday that was pretty damming on Amnesty Ireland and Colm o'Gorman.

    Basically Colm O'Gorman is using weasel words to state that they are above the law. You can listen back to this piece of comedy gold on rte.ie with Sean O'Rourke.
    Sean O’Rourke: “Just tell us about the money?

    O’Gorman: Well first of all it didn’t come from George Soros. It came from a human rights foundation called the Open Society which was established by a large endowment [$18 billion] from George Soros.

    Classic!

    Amnesty International Ireland was an organisation to which I had in the past given up my time and money in helping them campaign in releasing prisoners in autocratic regimes, as well as prisoners of conscience. However, since o'Gorman took over it has basically stuck its nose into Irish domestic politics pontificating to the plebs what is morally right or wrong, hence why I have not given them a red cent in years. Maybe this is why they need the cash from Soros, Irish people are sick of their pontificating so they use American money as a substitute for Irish led donations.

    No matter if its Russian, American, Chinese, Saudi, outer Mongolian or whomever, foreign money to achieve political outcomes should be 100% illegal in Ireland.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,463 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Colm was like a bould child on RTÉ radio yesterday morning. He wouldn't shut up.

    Mod note:

    Please discuss the issues at hand i.e. international funding of irish elections/referenda, specificially the putative abortion referendum, and avoid taking pot shots at individuals.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,913 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    What powers does SIPO have in this regard. Colm O'Gorman is adamant that he is not giving back the money because his cause is 'just', even though its against the law to accept it, thus illegal. Can SIPO fine Amnesty Ireland?

    This could do more harm than good, where by any referendum could be null and void if he is front and centre of a repeal campaign. You can bet that people will challenge the result if its transparent and clear that illegal money funded the campaign that won.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,571 ✭✭✭Red_Wake


    markodaly wrote: »
    What powers does SIPO have in this regard. Colm O'Gorman is adamant that he is not giving back the money because his cause is 'just', even though its against the law to accept it, thus illegal. Can SIPO fine Amnesty Ireland?

    This could do more harm than good, where by any referendum could be null and void if he is front and centre of a repeal campaign. You can bet that people will challenge the result if its transparent and clear that illegal money funded the campaign that won.
    Have Amnesty International condemned[or commented on] the russian involvement in the US presidential election?

    If they have, they're staggeringly hypocritical.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,913 ✭✭✭✭markodaly


    Interesting question alright but he is always front and centre giving out about America. People like him do more harm then good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    “Marxist” is an odd way of describing a billionaire investor.

    Well, Marx himself wasn't exactly poor either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    Aegir wrote: »
    isn't there a rather large and very wealthy international organisation based in Rome, that is also trying to influence the abortion debate?

    If they were, presumably they'd be able to simply out-spend anyone on the repeal side. I think the Church is loathe to actually use its significant resources in a way that might provoke further backlash against them in the public domain.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,533 ✭✭✭AnGaelach


    Gintonious wrote: »
    Seems like a fairly draconian law that has been brought up to the top.

    Twitter is a dam sight more interesting seeing David Quinn etc lose their minds over it.

    There's nothing draconian about it. Foreign capital shouldn't have any place in the Irish political system, whether it's from the Koch brothers, Soros or the European Commission. Irish matters are for Irish people to decide.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,993 ✭✭✭✭recedite


    <snip - please dont discuss moderation on thread>

    O'Gorman took this €137K from George Soros, apparently for the anti-abortion campaign. Its not the first time Amnesty international has collaborated with Soros in support of a policy, both often intervene to keep the "irregular" migrant routes into Europe open.
    The fact is, the donation was for political lobbying, whereas O'Gorman tried to say it was for "human rights work".
    There may be a fine line between the two, but both O'Gorman and SIPO know where that line is, and SIPO have firmly said the money should be returned to Soros, but O'Gorman has refused to do so.

    Even if the donor had been Irish, it was still well over the €200 limit
    applying to any single one-off donation for political lobbying purposes.
    limits;
    a donation exceeding the value of €100, if the name and address of the donor are not known;

    a cash donation exceeding the value of €200;

    a donation exceeding the value of €200 in any calendar year from a corporate donor unless the corporate donor is registered in the register of Corporate Donors maintained by the Standards Commission and a statement, on behalf of the corporate donor confirming that the making of the donation was approved by the corporate donor, is furnished with the donation to the donee;

    a donation, of whatever value, from an individual (other than an Irish citizen) who resides outside the island of Ireland;


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,182 ✭✭✭demfad


    I don't know how things are done for Irish referenda but in the UK where they are much less common, there is a referendum commission to ensure fairness. In the EU membership referendum of yesteryear, the official Remain and Leave campaigns were each allowed to spend no more than £7 million. Where that comes from isn't really relevant as both sides can only spend up to the same limit.

    Not sure if there is an overarching Irish commision: There is teh Standards in Public Office Commission and a Referendum commission is set up for each referendumm

    Each commission is only as good as its teeth though. Take UK:

    UKIP are under investigation for a seven figure donation in kind from Cambridge Analytica.
    Official Leave are under investigation for setting up other campaigns with a spending limit of £750,000 to extend the pot. All these campaigns paid monies to AggregateIQ the sister company of Cambridge Analytica.
    Arron Banks under investigation for source of his £11 million donations to Leave.eu/UKIP.
    Punishment if guilty is twenty grand or so. Damage is done with no consequences. Commission is toothless and so ignored.


  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭mrhoppy


    Red_Wake wrote: »
    Have Amnesty International condemned[or commented on] the russian involvement in the US presidential election?

    If they have, they're staggeringly hypocritical.

    The difference is, there is zero evidence of collusion between President Trump and the Russians during his campaign, whereas Amnesty International have openly admitted to receiving funding from a foreign entity, in violation of the Electoral Act of 1997


  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭mrhoppy


    markodaly wrote: »
    What powers does SIPO have in this regard. Colm O'Gorman is adamant that he is not giving back the money because his cause is 'just', even though its against the law to accept it, thus illegal. Can SIPO fine Amnesty Ireland?

    This could do more harm than good, whereby any referendum could be null and void if he is front and centre of a repeal campaign. You can bet that people will challenge the result if its transparent and clear that illegal money funded the campaign that won.

    SIPO can do more than fine AI. AI are subject to criminal charges after breaking the law. AI are not the only ones receiving money from Soros though. Any referendum campaign found to be receiving money from a foreign entity are subject to criminal charges and should be reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs and/or the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 103 ✭✭mrhoppy


    Aegir wrote: »
    isn't there a rather large and very wealthy international organisation based in Rome, that is also trying to influence the abortion debate?

    The Catholic Church has not donated any money to any pro-life groups. Pro-life groups in Ireland are funded by domestic donations.


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