Attacked for defending traditional values

Dear Editor, David Quinn’s article ‘The new sectarianism’ (IC 27/2/14) highlighted the intolerance, verbal abuse, threatened physical abuse and media hypocrisy that has been displayed towards him and The Iona Institute in recent months. I share his point that hate and threats of violence have no place in public debate and I defend his right to take action if he felt defamed by being labelled ‘a homophobe’.

Pure in Heart have become targets of the Irish media suggesting that they are a ‘controversial’ group and may use ‘scare tactics’ and ‘sensationalism’ when delivering their school talks.

I suspect The Iona Institute and Pure in Heart are being singled out because they are leaders in their respective issues of traditional marriage and chastity education.

Youth Defence has been subjected to this extreme hate, threats, vandalism, media slander and bullying for years. And, like the above organisations, the reason is Youth Defence has been a pro-life leader in Ireland for years and was therefore the primary target for the hate and media slurs.

I have heard people from inside and outside the pro-life and Catholic communities say: maybe if Youth Defence changed the way they operated people wouldn’t get such a hard time in the press and people would treat them better. I knew that there was nothing wrong with Youth Defence campaigns and initiatives and this was not the reason for the negative media and other commentary.

I hope The Iona Institute and Pure in Heart can be as resilient as the Youth Defence members and stay true to whatever convictions they have for their respective issues.  If we are to learn anything from this recent media vitriol it’s this: when it comes to these issues it’s not what you do, or how you do it that has people attacking you – it’s just that you do it.

Yours etc.,

Eoghan de Faoite,

Youth Defence,

Capel St,

Dublin 1.