Monday, September 10, 2012

Youth Defence - The Money Shot

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The Tardis and the Life House share many similarities. They are both dated, anachronistic and better suited to a 1950's environment. Their owner undergoes a semi-regular process of rebirth with different appearances but the same core personality. And, most significantly, they must both be substantially larger on the inside.

Number 60a Capel Street has simultaneously acted as home base for Coir, Youth Defence, the Life Institute, the Mother and Child Campaign, Truth TV, and the Pro-Life Alliance.

We must commend them on their efficient use of office space.

One of the founder members of this compact conglomerate is Scott Schittl, as evidenced by Niamh Ui Briain's comments below:
"Scott Schittl was so much a part of everything at 60a Capel Street that it scarcely seemed possible he could ever leave... During his time in Ireland Scott both initiated and was the driving force behind many important pro-life projects... He brought many talents to 60a Capel Street." - Niamh Ui Briain writing in Solas, vol 11 no 4
Fans of Youth Defence reading this blog should hold fast. In this modern age geographical distance need act as no impediment to continued cooperation, and there are many ways in which Schittl can maintain his ties to his friends in the overcrowded offices of the Life House, 60a Capel Street.

He is now President of Life House Ireland, an "... American, tax-exempt organization... [whose] purpose is to help make sure Ireland remains pro-life and abortion-free – and make it easier for Americans to support Ireland's pro-life success story."

Does this necessarily mean he directs funds to Youth Defence and associates? The matching names, shared staff and goals provide reasonable evidence, but we can bolster somewhat by seeing how Niamh Ui Bhriain speaks at their fundraisers (also here, and a flier here). Crisis Magazine, an American Catholic publication, reports that Ui Bhriain "reached out to the US on the recent trip to raise awareness and support for Life Institute [based in 60a Capel Street] and the coalition of other pro-life organizations determined to preserve the culture in Ireland and spread it." (links in original.)

My name is  Fr. Maurice  Colgan, O.P. In this  picture, you can see me  at the very moment of my  Ordination. I am the Spiritual Director  of the Life Institute in  Dublin, Ireland, and I can  attest that their efforts  are invaluable to keeping Ireland abortionfree. I have worked with men and women who  work and volunteer with the Life Institute, and  can say that they are of the highest integrity. I would encourage you to support Life House  Ireland, as they work together with the Life  Institute to help keep Ireland abortion-free. Life House Ireland is an American non-profi t  organization which aims to inform Americans  about the great pro-life work which has  been going on in Ireland for decades, and  which has kept abortion out of Ireland. Please read inside and join today to receive  your free, monthly online update.
Although perhaps most convincing is the text from Life House Ireland itself. The Spiritual Director of the Life Institute in Dublin (60a, Capel Street, naturally) attests to the connection in the screenshot to the right.

The same brochure includes the text "Life House Ireland works jointly with one of the most influential Irish pro-life organizations, the Life Institute, located in Dublin, [again 60a Capel Street] Ireland." Their donation page suggests amounts between $20 and $5,000.

The Phoenix recently commented that those operating out of The Life House have made it extraordinarily difficult to get information on their financials. That, of course, is their right. Life House Ireland launched a fundraiser a fortnight before Youth Defence's poster campaign began. The total raised does not seem to have been revealed, but it will be interesting to view their reports with the IRS next year. Given that their Facebook friends and Twitter followers are predominantly American, would it come as a shock to discover their funders are too?

Update June 2013: I had looked forward with great interest to Life House Ireland's tax returns. Unfortunately they opted to ignore the IRS and not file them.


rhubarbular fernsehen said...

I e-mailed the american life house asking if they supported youth defence (masquerading as a chirpy pro-lifer) and they sent a VERY evasive reply but more or less said they didn't. Clearly they know it probably wouldn't go down well for the irish public to see the extent to which american conservative interests are meddling in our social policy...

Geoff said...

I don't quite see how the line between Youth Defence and the Life Institute can be justified by anything other than a claim of mass multiple personality disorder affecting their (shared) staff.

Anonymous said...

I just love that the Life House is right across the street from Outhouse.

Geoff said...

Heh, fair point :-) I was in the outhouse for a play once - good spot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Geoff - I was wondering who these people were.
How organised they were and how many.

You seemed to have assembled a veritable Rogues Gallery