Documents leaked last August by DC Leaks claimed that Open Society Foundations (OSF), which is bankrolled by billionaire investor George Soros, intended to remove Ireland’s constitutional protections for the unborn and establish in Ireland an unrestricted abortion regime. This was to be be achieved by massive funding of the repeal the 8th groups, the Abortion Rights Campaign, Amnesty International Ireland, and the Irish Family Planning Association who are to work collectively on a campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland.
Both Amnesty International and the Irish Family Planning Association have already received and continue to receive millions in campaign funds from other US corporations.
The Irish Family Planning Association received the grant in January 2016 after submitting an application to fund a project directed towards, among other things, the “strategic goal of garnering support for repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution”. Following requests from SIPO last Autumn, the Irish Family Planning Association said it was not a campaigning body and had used the €132,000 it had received for charitable and educational purposes. The group received a grant of €132,000 from the US-based Open Society Foundations (OSF).
Here is a link to the correspondence between the Standards in Public Office Commission and the Irish Family Planning Association obtained under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 showing the flow of correspondence between the State watchdog charged with dealing with illegal campaign funding and the Irish Family Planning Association.
Despite what the IFPA claims, the IFPA is a pro-choice campaigning body and has been campaigning for the repeal of the 8th amendment and for a liberal abortion regime in Ireland for many years. Because of that it has found it necessary to register with the Standard in Public Office Commission (SIPO) as a lobbyist under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015.
From examining the returns it can be clearly be seen that the IFPA has found it necessary to make 12 lobbying returns to SIPO to date under the legislation. On examining the returns one will note that that 6 of the returns to date relate to lobbying on the issue of abortion which is the purpose for which Open Society Foundations made the donation to the IFPA. Here is a link to SIPO setting out the IFPA’s lobbying activities for 2016 and January 2017.