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A very busy chairperson

March 1st, 2010 · 9 Comments · Iona Institute, Irish Politics, Religious Right Dressed up as research institutes

I was sent this invitation to an event later this month which is being organised by the Iona Institute.

‘Reducing teenage pregnancy and sexual activity: What works and what doesn’t’
Venue: Davenport hotel, Dublin 2

Date and time: Thursday, March 25, 8pm

Chair: Sean O Fearghail TD

The Law Reform Commission has recently recommended that contraception be made available to minors without the permission of their parents. The theory is that this will help reduce teenage pregnancy.

But is this true? The British experience would suggest it is not. The Iona Institute has therefore invited a leading expert on this topic, Professor David Paton of the University of Nottingham, to present what the evidence really has to say in this area.

Drawing on a wealth of evidence, he will show that involving parents in decision-making is a crucial factor in reducing teenage pregnancy and sexual activity.

Professor Paton holds the Chair of Industrial Economics at the Nottingham University Business School. His research on the determinants of teenage pregnancy has been discussed in the House of Commons and House of Lords and has been the subject of considerable press, radio and TV coverage.

He has published a number of articles exposing the failures of UK Government policies in reducing teenage pregnancy.

The chair of the meeting will the Sean O Fearghail, Fianna Fail TD for Kildare South, He is the Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children.

What is the person given the responsibility for chairing Oireachtas discussions on health and children doing chairing a meeting of a private organisation which ‘promotes the place of marriage and religion in society. We defend the continued existence of publicly-funded denominational schools. We also promote freedom of conscience and religion.’

It’s not surprising to note that the Iona Institute have several supporters in Dáil and Seanad Eireann who they get to chair lectures and public meetings. Sean O Fearghail TD however is no ordinary interested backbencher when he’s paid a stipend to chair committee proceedings in the Oireachtas on matters concerning Health and Children. I assume discussions and invited expert opinions on this matter in the Oireachtas will be more balanced?

By the way on Professor Paton – he’s a professor of industrial economics, his other specialist subjects? Betting and cricket.

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