You don’t mess with the Irish.
Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros encountered opposition from the Irish government after funding efforts to repeal a pro-life Amendment from the country’s constitution.
Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) gave human rights organization Amnesty International $162,000 for its My Body My Rights campaign in Ireland, The Journal reports.
The campaign promoted a repeal of the Irish Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which protects “the right to life of the unborn.”
Ireland’s Standards in Public Office Commission (SIPO) ordered Amnesty International to return the donation, claiming it violated the 1997 Electoral Act, which prohibits foreign entities from giving more than $100 for “political purposes.”
Amnesty refused to return the money and criticized the law. Colm O’Gorman, chief executive of Amnesty International Ireland, pledged to challenge the decision. He also said he wanted the Electoral Act changed.
A spokesperson for SIPO maintained that the political intent of the OSF donation made it subject to the law.
“The commission sought and received written confirmation from the donor that the funding was for explicitly political purposes. As it is the intent of the donor that determines whether a donation is a political donation, the funding very clearly fell within the Act’s prohibitions. The Commission has issued directives to the recipients to return the prohibited donations.”
Cora Sherlock, of the Irish Pro Life Campaign, told the Catholic Herald that Amnesty International acted like they are “above the law,” and called on the organization to return the donation.
“It is important to recall that the Open Society Foundation stated when giving the money to Amnesty that it was to assist the coordination of groups in Ireland with a view to repealing the 8th Amendment and taking away legal protection for the baby in the womb,” Sherlock said.
“The involvement of this US based organisation in the Irish abortion debate represents a gross interference in our democracy and in safeguarding the right to life. Amnesty should immediately return the money and stop trying to portray itself as a victim in all of this.”
Soros has funded many left-wing causes through his foundation.
Between 2010 and 2014, Soros donated $246 million to partners of March’s “Day Without Women” protests.
Recipients of Soros donations include the ACLU, the Center for American Progress, Planned Parenthood, and MoveOn.org.
Soros has also given as much as $100,000 to the McCain Institute for International Leadership, a non-profit started by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) after his failed 2008 presidential bid.
He has learned first-hand that the Irish won’t back down without a fight.