Should Catholics Boycott Ireland?

Should Catholics Boycott Ireland?
Though other countries have enacted ordinances to allow abortion, the case of Ireland is particularly heartbreaking.


As a Catholic of Irish descent, I have gone out of my way over the years to buy products (often, comparatively pricier products) from the Emerald Isle. With the recent popular vote to legalize abortion, however, I will be boycotting Ireland.

Ireland’s giddy rejection of its 1983 pro-life amendment has an Orwellian 1984 aura—when “Repeal” voters heard the news that the unborn had been stripped of their constitutional right to life, they literally danced in the streets.

Abortion has come to Ireland to the sound of cheers. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, if Ireland lasts for a thousand years, men will look back on this vote and say, “This was their darkest hour.”

It’s tempting to refer to this vote as “Ireland’s Roe v. Wade.”  It’s important to remember, however, that Roe v. Wade was not put into effect by popular vote. Seven judges created Roe, an unconstitutional decision that was—at least initially—unpopular in America. Had abortion been up for a national vote in 1973, it wouldn’t have come close to winning a majority. Contrast this with the ballot results in Ireland, which saw two-thirds of the electorate jettison the right to life for Irish babies.

Moreover, a closer look at the numbers points to a deeper malignancy. The protection of innocent life was on the ballot in Ireland, and 36% of the citizens did not even bother to vote, meaning that over one-third of adults refused not only to stand up for the unborn, but refused to even stand in line.

Thus, due to its widespread democratic adoption of abortion, the overturn of the 8th Amendment by popular vote is not “Ireland’s Roe v. Wade,” but something far worse. And it is indicative of a broader trend in defiance of divine law. This vote, hailed as a move toward modernizing Ireland, was a thinly-veiled referendum on Christianity itself. As Ryszard Legutko recently observed in The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies, “Modernity and anti-Christianity cannot be separated because they stem from the same root and since the beginning have been intertwined.”  This was a referendum on God, and God was voted down at the ballot box in Ireland.

Though other countries have enacted ordinances to allow abortion, the case of Ireland is particularly heartbreaking. This is a country that has bravely kept the Catholic Faith for centuries, through some rough waters. Because of this faithfulness and its distinctive Irish characteristics, many Catholics have financially supported the nation by buying products produced in Ireland. The vote, and the pictures and videos of the celebration of the outcome, was an eye-opening experience to many of us: This isn’t the same country we have so long held up as an exemplar of Catholic culture.

This makes me think that a boycott of Ireland is in order. In the coming months, Ireland will be voting on laws regarding abortion—the constitutional vote simply paved the way for legislation, it didn’t itself create pro-abortion laws. There is still a contingent of staunchly pro-life citizens in Ireland, and they will work tirelessly to help legally protect unborn babies. I want to help them. In the coming months, pro-life advocates around the world can boycott Ireland in an effort to send a message that we are heartbroken about the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, but that we want to see Ireland adopt laws that protect the unborn.

Whenever the discussion of a boycott arises, one often hears the argument that boycotts don’t work. From an economic perspective, that is often true: one side boycotts and the other side increases their financial support. I have no special insight as to whether a boycott will make an economic difference or not. But beyond mere economics, if we Catholics don’t boycott Ireland in an effort to have pro-life laws enacted, we risk sending a message that it’s business-as-usual. We risk sending a message that our consumer preferences will remain unaltered regardless of whether Ireland protects her unborn babies or not.

We risk sending a message that we simply don’t care.

And that is a message we cannot send.

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5 comments on “Should Catholics Boycott Ireland?

  1. Boycotting by individuals is more an emotional reaction than a convincing tactic. In this case it would be laughed to scorn by the pro-murder side, given the barbaric genocide practiced in the States and at an annual rate that dwarfs what is anticipated in Ireland.
    That is not to discourage someone from boycotting altogether but to recognize its inherent limitations, especially if America is the source, A better move would be to at least combine boycotting with marked increases in donations to Irish pro-life activities and publish how much $$$ is being re-targeted to support children and their mothers against the vile acts of the heathen Druids.

  2. Having read some inarguably demonic posts on Irish websites, from Irish men and women who are nothing less than brutal beasts-in-human-form, the occult is also inarguably a major factor. Short of a visit by St. Patrick himself, massive prayer for the deliverance of Ireland from its luciferian political masters is definitely in order.

  3. A boycott is probably misguided. Ireland needs more Catholic pilgrims, not less.

    There has been a lot of nonsense written about so-called “cultural Catholics” recently ( a misnomer). Ted Kennedy and Mario Cuomo didn’t become liberal pro-abortion kooks because of the national origin of their ancestors or from identifying as Irish-American or Italian-American culturally and attending St. Patrick’s Day Parades and parish spaghetti dinners around Columbus Day. So the nutjob convert priest pushing this narrative ought to zip it and reflect on why he is obsessed with bashing Catholics. There are plenty of Irish, Italian, Polish, and French-Canadian Catholics who are not pro-abortion or liberal politically, while remaining perfectly comfortable with their European or Celtic DNA. Apostasy and liberal modernism are not caused by “tribal” cultural patterns or St. Patrick’s Day parades, however silly the liberal politicians showing up at them might be. Historically, the Hibernians upheld traditional Catholicism and the traditional Latin Mass. Indeed, the died and were murdered for their faith.

    Ted Kennedy and his family distanced themselves from Catholic culture and Catholic institutions. His pro-abortion politics had more to do with the fact that he couldn’t keep his zipper up around young, attractive secretaries, so he never knew when he might need abortion services next. Mario Cuomo’s tantrums over abortion rights were so emotional and hysterical you had to wonder how many illegal abortions he was brooding and steaming over.
    There are multiple reasons why bad Catholics become ex-Catholics, heretics, and apostates. For a lot of them it is because they are chronic and habitual sexual sinners seeking to rationalize their lechery and perversion. Some of the modernist priest presidents at pseudo-Catholic colleges and universities enable liberal pro-abortion commencement speakers because they are liberal homos on the same political team ideologically. Not because their DNA came from Ireland or wherever else.

    But sin makes people stupid and the Devil offers plenty of affirmative action and equal protection under the law to those who want to promote abortion with multiculturalism and cosmopolitan style.

  4. Doctrinal and political errors denounced in a way few others can! Very well put, Howl.

  5. People leave the faith and dissent from church teachings for a variety of reasons. There is no need to oversimply the seriousness of the situation or explanations for the causes of the abortion vote.
    Two good articles:
    John O’Sullivan at National Review on disaffection from the Church in Ireland and the evolution of anti-Catholic attitudes (Ireland becoming “West Britain”):

    Theological reflection:

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