The Iona Institute reports that Michael O’Flaherty – ‘who is still formally a Catholic priest’ – has been appointed as head of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. Mr. O’Flaherty (he has not yet been officially laicised) was to the fore in the drafting of the Yogyakarta Principles which promote and advocate, among other things, the legalising of homosexual adoption. In taking over control of the NIHRC he is following in the footsteps of another notorious person who disregarded the whole notion of human rights with regard to the protection of human beings from the moment of conception until natural death. That other person is Monica McWilliams.
Michael O’Flaherty currently serves on the UN Human Rights Committee as Ireland’s representative, and he is also Professor of Applied Human Rights at the University of Nottingham. Following reported Irish Government lobbying, O’Flaherty was re-elected to the UN Human Rights Committee once again. He is a strong and vocal advocator for ‘rights’ for homosexuals and others of like agenda.
The Iona Institute says that, ‘Currently, the [Yogyakarta] Principles have no legal status’, but that lobbying on the part of homosexual groups would allow them to argue that domestic legislation could lead to soft-law international norms – ‘despite the absence of reference to such “norms” in actual hard-law treaties ratified by sovereign nations.’
Michael O’Flaherty was one of the invited speakers at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs NGO Human Rights Forum in 2006 and again in 2007, in Dublin. At the 2007 Forum he spoke on ‘the work of the human rights treaty bodies’, and what he saw as ‘resistance problems’ in that ‘some states will not play with the system at all; they will not ratify the treaties and the whole framework therefore just passes them gloriously by.’ However, he said, there is ‘a movement towards universal ratification of these treaties’, and mentioned the Convention on the Rights of the Child as an example in this regard.
As is well known, the liberal Fine Gael/Labour government in Ireland is making huge efforts to ensure that a ‘children’s rights’ referendum takes place in the very near future. The terms of the referendum – which would, if carried, ensure that an amendment inimical to the true rights of families and children would be inserted into the Constitution of Ireland – have yet to be finalised, but it is feared that the final wording will not be in the best interests of society