No. 4 : Youth Defence article in far-right Candour magazine (1993)

This article was written in November 1992 by Youth Defence member Cliona Ni Mhurchu (probably a pseudonym). It was published in the Sep-Nov 1993 issue of Candour, a British, Catholic far-right and anti-Semitic journal.

The piece was also re-published in Catholic Action, another periodical associated with the International Third Position (ITP).

It rallies against abortion, contraception, divorce, pornography, liberal and socialist propaganda, the mass media, humanism, progressive catholics and money-lending while also making thinly veiled references to a hidden control of finance (read Jewish).

The author invokes doomsday-like religious language and talks about entering the “crucial stage” in the “long war” between “Satan” and “God and His Order”.

Young Youth Defence activists in black bomber jackets and black boots, April 1992. Credit - Wally Cassidy
Young Youth Defence activists in black bomber jackets and black boots, April 1992. Credit – Wally Cassidy

It states that Youth Defence have been working “closely with the like minded, and experienced groups like the Family Rights Council and the Housewives’ Union.”  

The Family Rights Council was formed in the early 1980s and consisted of three groups : Parent Concern, the Family Rights Association and the Irish Housewives’ Union. Long-time conservative campaigner Una Mhic Mhathuna was the secretary of the Housewives’ Union.

When her daughter and Youth Defence founding member Niamh Nic Mhathuna ran for the General Election in November 1992,  the Family Rights Council and the Housewive’s Union were listed as supporting her campaign on her leaflet.

She also used the same address (131 Thomas Street) and the phone number (01 6790840) as is listed in the piece below. Youth Defence had offices above The Piper’s House pub at 131 Thomas Street during the 1992-3 period. Letters to the newspapers by Youth Defence members Sean O’Domhnaill, Peter Scully, Maria McCluskey and Cliona Nic Aodh (sic) used this address during those years.

The article was written specifically for a non-Irish audience and it is important to note there is a financial appeal at the end – “we have no choice but to appeal to anyone reading this to please give us moral, financial and spiritual help in our struggle for the soul of Ireland”.

For the first time, here it is online in full:

A Breath of Fresh Eire

Cliona Ni Mhurchu outlines the campaign against abortion undertaken by the Dublin-based Youth Defence League (sic).

Abortion, contraception, divorce, pornography : these are a few of the sickening items at the top of the humanist and atheist agenda for Ireland. With such things in mind a small group of young people came together around February 1992 with the aim of defending and inspiring the Youth of Ireland to stand up and fight for the Moral Order, for Irish Tradition and for the future of our country and her young people.

Led astray by the constant saturation of liberal and socialist propaganda in the media, through modern ‘culture’ and even within the Church, we hope by means of this social struggle for the life of Ireland to be able to bring back her young people to the Faith of our Fathers.

Outraged by the case of the young girl who was eventually allowed to travel to kill her baby, YOUTH DEFENCE was formed and at short notice decided to call a rally demanding that a definitive and unambiguous pro-life clause be added to the Constitution. Not surprisingly, we were totally ignored by the mass media but after phoning Father Michael Cleary’s late night radio show we were invited into the studio to air our views. We received overwhelming support from callers throughout the programme and Father Cleary allowed us announce the rally for the following Tuesday night.

On the Tuesday over 1,000 people turned up outside Dail Eireann (Irish Parliament), at short notice and in the freezing cold, to support our demands. This was the beginning of our struggle, a struggle that by the grace of God has continued to gain momentum, even though we are continually being stabbed in the back by people who should have been helping and supporting us. We have had to put up with the morally crushing blows of Catholics who not want to get involved and think it enough, merely enough, to pray, but not act; so-called pro-lifers who tell people not to get involved with us and who sabotage our actions and also priests and a hierarchy who allow them to continue in their blissful ignorance, who will not preach the crusade, and who will not open up the coffers of the Church in order to fulfill an essential part of the Church’s role.

We know that presumption is a sin and we know that Our Lord is not going to work any miracles when some Catholics cannot be bothered to act as His instruments in the Divine Plan. We know that the liberals and the socialists hate us. We know that so-called ‘respectable’ Catholics hate us. But we also know that Our Lord told us to take up our crosses and follow Him and to share in His Passion. We know that Our Lord told us that if we were to serve Him we would be hated by the world for His sake. And because of this we will not give up, we will not go away and we will not silenced by anyone.

From the beginning we have sought to create a high public profile. Their media will not give us any coverage out of sympathy for our aims so we have played upon the shock value that they love so much. (It boosts viewing figures and sells newspapers).

We also firmly believe that being loud and vociferous, controversial, militant and innovative in our actions is the only way that we can win this and other battles. We are at a crucial stage in the history of the world and our struggle — spiritually and socially – is merely a reflection of a higher struggle, the supernatural combat unleashed by Satan upon God and His Order. It is a long war that seems to be coming to its most crucial stage. Catholics and people of good disposition can no longer sit quietly on the fence in the social area, not that anyone ever had a right to do so.

As the forces for good and evil in the world become more and more obviously polarised there can be no room for indifference. Through our actions we aim to awaken that realisation in people’s minds and make them look deeply into their hearts. One side or the other, but everyone must make a stand and enter the combat for the Faith, for the Moral Order and for Justice.

In terms of action we have held a number of rallies, mobilising up to 10,000 people in Dublin. As well as the usual leaflets and posters our everyday activities and for the past few months have included widespread door to door canvassing, hanging large banners with hard-hitting messages at highly visible points during heavy rush-hour traffic, and pickets and demonstrations outside the Dail, pro-abortion meetings and the home of pro-abortion TD’s (Members of Parliament).

We have Youth Defence groups set up all over Ireland with 3,000 members, and the Youth Defence Roadshow that travels about the country pushing our message with graphic displays and recruiting new members. In some places our members have been arrested for terrible ‘crimes’ like handing out leaflets, displaying ‘obscene’ material (photographs of murdered babies) and daring to breathe in public! But we do not care, we will carry on because we have an obligation to do so.

At the time of writing [November 1992], we are not hopeful for the outcome of the referendum. In an effort to confuse the issue the government has designed three referenda to be voted upon : the ‘right’ to travel abroad for an abortion; the ‘freedom’ to promote abortion services and information; and abortion where the physical and or mental of the mother ‘demands’ it – in other words abortion on demand dressed up as limited abortion.

And to confuse the issue even more, a General Election has been manoeuvred for the same day as the referendum. The media has been full of lurid and emotional stories of rape (very rare in Eire), unwanted children (another big lie), and the moral shortcomings of the clergy like the Bishop of Galway and his now grown up child. This scandal was obviously known about in certain circles for many years but they have cleverly waited for the right moment before making it public. Such scandals help to destroy people’s faith and belief and adherence to the moral and social teachings of the Church.

On top of all this the Irish Bishops recently issued a statement saying that Catholics are free to vote in whichever they want in the referendum as long as their consciences are clear. It is for this last reason that we will come to see unborn Irish children murdered on Irish soil.

Throughout our fight against abortion we have been working closely with the like minded, and experienced groups like the Family Rights Council and the Housewives Union. A growing pro-life register of over 40,000 signatures has been collected. People signing the register promise not to vote for pro-abortion TD’s.

Whether we win or lose the referendum for the unborn we will not give up or go away. We will not keep quiet about abortion, divorce, pornography or anything else that affects the young people and children of Ireland.

We have over 20% unemployment, constant emigration and all sorts of social and economic injustice. We know that usury is the cause of these ills and many more. We know that people who control finance are the real power behind the moral and social destruction of our land. We know that these people are the real government, hidden and unelected rulers of this country and of every country. And we know that the answer to these problems can be found in the traditional social teaching of the Church, best expressed in the encyclicals Rerum Novarum [1891] and Quadragesimo Anno [1931].

We are steadily building Youth Defence and plan to create our own media to get plan to create our own media to get across our message more effectively. But all of us are studying, on the dole or in low paid jobs. The money that we do raise from our members and sympathisers is quickly swallowed up by constant campaigning costs, so we have no choice but to appeal to anyone reading this to please give us moral, financial and spiritual help in our struggle for the soul of Ireland. And we especially want to make contacts in Irish communities in other countries. Ireland definitely needs the help of her people and friends at home and abroad.

We can be contacted at:

131 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, Eire.

Telephone/Fax – Dublin (01) 6790840

Candour Page 1/2. Sep 1993.
Candour article Page 1/2. Sep-Nov 1993.
Candour Page 2/2. Sep 1993.
Candour article. Page 2/2. Sep-Nov 1993.

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