Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Report on the Viva la Vida Conference

The Viva la Vida! Conference, jointly organised by Youth Defence and the Life Institute, took place in Dublin last weekend. Many hundreds of participants, young and older (but mainly young!) enjoyed nearly three days of great talks, testimonies, etc. On Saturday a lively céilidhe ended the day.

It’s very difficult to pinpoint even one or two of the speakers at the conference – the audience was spellbound by each and every one of them. Dr. Colin McGuckin, who now works from his laboratory in Lyon, gave a fascinating and extraordinary account of his work over the past twenty years in the area of adult stem cell treatments. One of his achievements is the creation of the world’s first ‘mini liver’ from umbilical cord blood, in 2005. He rightly expressed his disappointment that Ireland does not have an umbilical cord blood bank. It would be impossible to give a short account of his talk, but the conference talks will be available on disk in the near future.

Other great speakers were: Andy Pollard (on the subject of the so-called ‘population explosion’); Sr. Rosann Reddy (the ‘driving force’ behind the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative in Glasgow); Eric Scheidler (his father is the ‘veteran’ pro-life leader Joe Scheidler) … The list could go on!

During the Conference, Niamh Úi Bhriain of the Life Institute, and one of the founders of Youth Defence in 1992, launched a booklet entitled JOIN THE DOTS – Who’s behind the push for embryo research in Ireland. It’s an amazing – and at times frightening – account of the history of the co-operation between the Irish Government, government-established quangos, big business, the international pharmaceutical firms, some academic personnel, etc., to establish embryonic stem cell research and experimentation in Ireland. Despite the constant rejection of proposals for embryo experimentation in our country on the part of the people of Ireland – in referenda, in submissions to government-sponsored ‘commissions’, etc. – the Irish Government appears to be determined to ignore the people’s stated wishes, and commonsense. JOIN THE DOTS is part of an awareness campaign to bring to the attention of the people of Ireland what is being done in their name by those who are pushing for embryo research and the resulting destruction of human life.

Finally – here are two dates for your 2011 diary:

Dublin City Centre, Saturday, 2 July 2011 – All-Ireland Rally for Life.

Madrid, 17 August 2011 – Viva la Vida! Conference.
This event will take place as part of
World Youth Day 2011