The Abortion Story that has never been written and never will

politics
The Abortion Story that has never been written and never will
I came accross this article in the Kilkenny Journal , it was written by Michael McGrath back in 2014, I hope he wont mind but I think the story needs to be put out there as it raises serious concerns about the impartiality of Journalists in Ireland . 

by Michael McGrath , Kilkenny Journal 
 

This abortion story has lasted 35 years, since 1979. In that year the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) held its Annual Delegate Conference (ADM) for the whole of Britain and Ireland above in Portrush, Northern Ireland. 

And although the NUJ is a British trade union it probably has its most loyal membership in the Republic of Ireland and mostly in Dublin. And bear in mind that this trade union runs a closed shop that it has used ever since to force its member journalists to write in a certain away about matters of public controversy such as abortion, and mass immigration as well lately.

In Kilkenny the Kilkenny People newspaper has always been operated as an NUJ closed shop, whereas the former Kilkenny Journal was non-union as also was the Kilkenny Standard in Dean Street and then in John Street. The former Kilkenny branch office of The Munster Express in Rose Inn Street had both union and non-union journalists.

This is the local background to our abortion story. Back in 1979 at Portrush The NUJ forced a proposal for Abortion on Demand for Ireland on all its delegates present at that ADM and when several Southern Irish delegates objected, including Brendan Halligan, the then Editor of the Limerick Leader, formerly a journalist on the Kilkenny People, objected to this Abortion on Demand policy they were locked out - out of their own trade union conference!

This led to the mass resignations of Mr. Halligan and of about 70 Irish members of the NUJ, including a couple of journalists in the Radio Centre of RTE in Dublin. The NUJ then threatened the livelihoods of these mostly senior Irish journalists according to the closed shop rule as they were no longer NUJ members but were openly flouting the NUJ and even attacking it in Ireland - as we say it is a British-based trade union.

A former NUJ member who had resigned the Union over abortion, Billy Quirke of the Wexford People series in Enniscorthy, who was blacked from his job for resigning from the NUJ in objection to their Abortion on Demand policy, took that union to the High Court in Dublin to secure an injunction against the NUJ restraining it from interfering with his livelihood as a journalist. 

The Union fought Billy all the way but retreated inside the High Court in Dublin in 1981 , just before Mr. Justice McWilliams was to rule against the union - and thus destroy its closed shop in Ireland under Article 40 of the Irish Constitution. It never went that far, the union made sure by caving in, Billy was awarded his job back with some small compensation in lost wages and the NUJ survived. Billy died a decade ago after a successful career as a sports journalist and councillor in Enniscorthy.

He was a well-known GAA reporter. He was also President of the Adoptive Parents Association of Ireland and as such objected to the NUJ instructing him on how to write about abortion and other important social issues. Meanwhile Brendan Halligan in Limerick, the RTE radio journalists, and the owner of the Midland Topic newspapers in Mullingar, a Kilkenny native called Dick Hogan, as well as some others all joined the older Chartered Institute of Journalists ( that the NUJ had split away from in 1907 and waged a bitter war with ever since!). Up to that only a few "upmarket" journalists in Ireland were ever in the Institute. But from that day to this the NUJ has continued its campaign for Abortion on Demand in Ireland.

And thus you saw, if you get that paper, headlines screaming for abortion in yesterday's Sunday Independent. Though 35 years have passed and heroes like Billy Quirke are dead and gone , the NUJ still campaigns for abortion in Ireland. Basically this is done by mostly the Dublin Newspaper Branch of the union as well as the Dublin Broadcasting Branch as they think it's lovely and trendy and real left-wing to be in favour of abortion there.

But still in the provinces Irish journalists today are told how to write in favour of abortion. They are also instructed by the NUJ on how to write in favour of sensitive issues like mass immigration and to take a certain view on many social issues including incidents of alleged racism. All this is ordered by the National Executive of the NUJ in London which has always been extremely political and indeed Trotskyist in its membership composition in London, and in recent years in Dublin as well. Thus some Irish journalists brave enough to speak out have alleged "Government by the Press" in Ireland, and indeed that is where we are now. 

Irish politicians right up to Taoiseach level are very well aware that they can be written out of Irish politics while lefties of Sinn Fein and the Greens, the Dail Independents and the Labour Party, rule the roost in the liberal area on social issues in Irish political life. This is why you have this whole series of leftist social issues being pushed in the media and at national level by the press and the lefties working together, and this above all is why we are spiralling downwards now towards eventual Abortion on Demand in Ireland.

There is no such thing as a free press in Ireland today, there hasn't been in forty years. A handful of Irish journalists , 70 in all, stood up for their rights as members of a free press, but even then back in 1979 the NUJ was seriously taken over by the "reds", by people like Eamon McCann of the Socialist Workers Party, while two thousand Irish journalists kept quiet and kept their heads down. That was 35 years ago and you see the results of it all today. So next time you take up a newspaper you'll at least know what's going on behind the newsprint. 

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An enlightening article that explains a lot about journalism in this country today. Diversity of opinion is now anathema to the NUJ and the Irish media.
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I find this very disturbing that journalists should be forced to keep silent or support abortion

It does the country no favours , groupthink is destroying ireland at the moment
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The Radio Centre at RTE was an island of activity run by the late Joan Sheedy, Publications Executive, along with Nick Lowry, Radio news Chief Sub Editor ( still happily with us) in an ongoing attempt to free Irish journalists from the Trotskyist tentacles of the NUJ - and it was a relatively successful little operation with 70 + Irish journalists leaving the NUJ at the time despite the Union's threats against their livelihoods.

It was a long hot summer at RTE that year, but we experienced disappointment from Fr. Brian D'Arcy who dodged backing us to keep his NUJ UNion card. This was made up for by the obvious friendship of people like DJ Dave Fanning and also RTE journalist Mike Burns.

You could genuinely fight for press freedoms back then at the beginning of the Eighties, it's much tougher today as Irish journalists not only face NUJ sanctions but hurt "snowflake" virtue too in the current neo-liberal climate.

It was thought at the time that the Chartered Institute of Journalists was pro-life and anti-abortion, but this was not the case. The Institute simply had NO policy at all about abortion and still hasn't today, which is the proper stance for a journalist's organisation.

To the contrary the NUJ has as many policies as a political party. It's a long time since the Union did its appointed job and achieved proper wages and conditions for its journalist members. Whether you agree with abortion or not, you must agree that journalists should not be disciplined to write to order on any issue as is the case of NUJ journalists over the past 37 years or so in Ireland.

No fair, impartial and objective referendum can be run in Ireland while this still remains the case.

Right now Facebook is punishing pro-life writers by banning us for 30 days at a time!

Michael McGrath, Journalist, Kilkenny city.
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John waters said when he first went to work for the irish times , he pictured a place where everyone would have lots of different opinions and views , but what he encountered was the exact opposite.

In particular , I've noticed Irish Radio to be very left wing and biased , all the local radio stations and national radio stations are all pushing this left wing groupthink .

Its very disheartening , I just hope there are some good journalists out there who will wake up and fight back against the system.

... and in my opinion , the only possible outcome of the current system is the complete destruction of irish identity and tradition

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