Only last week I became aware of the relationship between Ireland’s ultra conservative ‘traditional family’ Iona Institute and the shady association of wealthy, influential Catholic business leaders callings itself Legatus (David Quinn – A Brief Ad Hominem, 15 April 2015). It has long been rumoured that Tony Monaghan, the founder of both Domino’s Pizza and Legatus, is a member of the right-wing Opus Dei prelature. Monaghan has neither confirmed nor denied this rumour, and neither has David Quinn the director of Legatus in Ireland and founder of the Iona Institute. What is clear is that there is enough dual membership between Legatus and Opus Dei, and the Iona Institute and Opus Dei to suggest that these are like organisations if not connected organisations. Don’t get me wrong, we live in a free society, and people are free to belong to such organisations if they so choose. My problem with such connections (if they exist) however, is that the lack of transparency means that few people ever get to see where the money is coming from and who is banging the drum. I’m certainly not the first person to become suspicious of this relationship, and in the past David Quinn has been more than a little evasive on the question.

Quinn may be entirely right in saying that his Iona Institute is not an Opus Dei organisation, but he is a member of Legatus and we know that Opus Dei is heavily represented in both it and the Iona Institute. In response to direct questioning, Quinn’s suggestion of a don’t-ask-don’t-tell culture within his Institute, taken together with his batting away the question with an allusion to McCarthyism suggests that something is being hidden from plain sight. Of course people in Church circle talk shop. It would be absurd to think otherwise. I have long experience of church societies, and I have a fair idea which members of the SVP are also Ministers of the Eucharist – just as a matter of interest, so why such evasion? People would like to know; there is no witch-hunt, there is no McCarthyism, people would simply like to know, and there is nothing wrong with that. What I suspect, from reasonable deduction, is that this assertion that the Iona Institute is not an Opus Dei front amounts to no more than a legal fiction. All that people want to know is who or what we are up against in the struggle for equality in Ireland. It’s not a huge ask.

Ùr-Fhàsaidh is a Christian social justice blogger who is committed to a Yes vote in the upcoming Marriage Equality referendum, and to helping other Christians see the good sense in a Yes vote. Please take the time to sign up to his social media feeds and share his work.


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