"Youth Defence - the cutting edge of the pro-life movement"
The Irish Times
"Ireland is under attack. Young people are very important."
"You must continue in your apostolate and be courageous."
Blessed Pope John Paul II during the Private Audience he granted Niamh Nic Mhathuna and John Heaney of Youth Defence in August 1995.
"Such is the strength and professionalism of the Irish pro-life movement that activists from other countries are travelling here to see how it’s done. "Our approach is multifaceted," says a spokesperson from Youth Defence. "(It’s) focused on public engagement and strives for excellence in messaging. We’ve had teams of young pro-life activists come to Ireland from the US and right across the world to learn the Irish model."
The Irish Examiner
"Most visible of the anti-abortion groups...fearless ....commitment beyond doubt"
The Irish Times
"..the Taoseach knows how formidable an opposition Youth Defence can be"
The Irish Independent
"Ireland's leading pro-life group"
"Cutting-edge pro-life strategies to educate the public on abortion"
Live Action News
"Something new and exciting which the media can't dismiss"
"Youth Defence exposes our hypocrisies and what we do to our unborn"
John Drennan, Irish Independent
"I pray and have great admiration for the wonderful work that all of you are doing to protect life. This is the most important work that we could possible do; protecting life from conception to death."
Sr. Briege McKenna, OSC
"Educated, articulate people, the vibrant voice of Ireland's future .."
The Evening Herald
"Bright-eyed, well-spoken, good-humoured ....driven by that fierce, inspiring, transient, youthful determination"
Brenda Power, The Sunday Press
"Niamh Nic Mhathuna - leader and founding member of the anti-abortion pressure group, Youth Defence, which kept the contentious issue on the boil"
"Youth Defence is the most active group in Ireland that is opposing the introduction of abortion into their country. In fact, Youth Defence has been credited even by the pro-abortion side as the organisation that has in fact prevented abortion from getting a foothold in Ireland. Activists in America look to Youth Defence for encouragement and inspiration."
Joe M. Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League, Chicago
"One of the greatest pro-life organizations on earth, Youth Defence from Ireland".
Bryan Kemper, Youth Director, Priests for Life
"The [Irish] pro-life powerhouse group, Youth Defence."
When I first saw Youth Defence's brilliant billboards, leaflets, and signs, I was blown away. I thought "This is what we need. Along with our strategy to make abortion illegal, we need a practical campaign to reach the masses."
Jennifer Mason, Personhood USA
I would like to congratulate everyone involved in Youth Defence on their unremitting and courageous efforts to defeat the abortion campaign in the “C” case.
Justice Rory O’Hanlon, Dublin. (Justice O'Hanlon sadly passed away in 2002. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis).
Youth Defence, an excellent pro-life organization in Ireland, produced the following special message for Christmas. It's perfect. I have nothing to add but Merry Christmas to all!
Monthy Harms, StandForLife.net
As an American citizen I was very excited at the opportunity to spend time in Ireland with my friends - Youth Defence. While travelling with their Roadshow '97, I was able to witness first hand the importance of Youth Defence's effort to educate on the truth of abortion. Town after town not only did the vast majority of the locals support this effort, but they even asked for additional information to share with their family and friends. One of the most effective tools used by Youth Defence is their information boards. One these boards one would find pictures of aborted children (retrieved from the trash) next to pictures of live children of the same age. These boards are also packed with facts and helpful information for crisis pregnancies. Despite the continual harassment by the Gardai over the "offensiveness" of these boards, I saw many parents bringing their children up to these boards and teach them from the information and pictures.
Jeffrey F. De Groot, Milwaukee, USA
I know I speak on behalf of all that went on our trip when I say that our time with Youth Defence had a profound impact on our pro-life work. Everyone shared a unique story about their experiences with your group and how it has inspirted them to be more courageous in defending the unborn. I know for myself it gave me confidence to stand outside of abortion clinics, hold graphic signs on campus and engage people in conversations about abortion. I pray often that your work will continue to be fruitful and be blessed by God
Laura Hall, Focus Team
I want to thank you and everyone there at Youth Defense for having me over to Ireland. It was the best experience for me in a very long time and one I shall never forget. Everyone of you refueled and relit the desire to continue with the Centurion program. Thank you very much.
Joan Appleton, Former abortion nurse, now pro-life advocate
Thanks to Bobby Schindler and his wonderful family for their heroic campaign against the culture of death and thanks also to those who organised this excellent pro-life conference.
Anthony Redmond, writing about YD’s 4th International Conference in the Irish Times
Thank you all so much for that most beautiful Volume - Report - No Exceptions - It could not be improved on. I'm enjoying reading it.
Margaret M, Co. Laois
Thank you for sending me your excellent report - No Exceptions, Why Human Life Deserves our Respect.
Patrick F, London
Thank you for the copy of No Exceptions. It is a truly wonderful work; congratulations to all involved. I pray the rosary towards your valliant work.
Kathleen L, Roscommon
Than you for your great book, No Exceptions,. You and all the members of Youth Defence are to be compliimented for your heroic pro-life work.
Anne S, Canada
"I am writing to congratulate you on your excellent handling of the debate tonight on Questions and Answers. You were both tenacious and calmly reasoned in your approach, which can be a difficult combination to achieve when faced with emotively irrational opposition. You also showed a very clear and well informed knowledge of the real issues which the forthcoming referendum is about.
The reason that I write this is to be of support to you by articulating my solidarity with the courageous position which you are taking in this referendum. I also find it edifying to hear someone so young expressing eloquently the same opinions as my own. More than opinions, of course, they reflect God's will for society as expressed in Church teaching."
In this context, I have found your contribution very heartening and of particular encouragement to me in my ministry"
Fr. O'Leary CC, Co. Dublin
Youth Defence are fighting to prevent the torture and murder of our little innocent, defenceless children by abortion. Nobody in Ireland is doing a work that is greater, nobler, more important, or more beautiful than Youth Defence.
Parnell said: "No man has a right to place bounds to the march of a nation." I say: "No man has a right to place bounds to the march of Youth Defence", for no nation can march forward by murdering it's own children.
You are engaged not only in saving the little unborn children of Ireland but in saving the soul of the nation. For a nation that decides to kill its own little children by abortion has become a nation of barbarians. It may justly be called so even if not everyone in the nation agrees with abortion. Terrible evils will follow in its train.
Fr. O'Rafferty, Co. Mayo
I am writing to you to ask you to send me some more information on Youth Defence. I received a leaflet giving information on abortion called "WHY IS ABORTION WRONG?"
I was really disgusted when I read this leaflet and could not believe how cruel and inhuman some people can be. I am very very much against abortion and would like to get more information on Youth Defence as I think it's a really good way of getting messages through to people.
Jaqueline J, Co. Fermanagh
I am a student studying for my leaving certificate in 1995 and considered myself "pro-choice" until I was recently shown a video in school of the reality of abortion called the "Silent Scream." Having heard of Youth Defence, I felt it was my duty, both to God and to the unborn, to join your organisation. Please send me details of how to join Youth Defence and more information on it.
Eamon, Tramore, Co. Waterford
An almighty thanks for what can only be described as the best conference in the world-ever! We had, quite simply the time of our lives. The YD Conference has set a fire in our hearts which the Liffey couldn't extinguish. We all needed a kick-start back into action and now, we will put candidates up for next years Scottish Parliament, not might, not should, but will!
Bernadette & Sofia, Glasgow, Scotland
Last Summer I receive some literature in town. I brought it home and it came into good use. A few months later a friend of mine, had made an appointment to go to England to have an abortion. I handed her all the notes and pictures that I had received. Thanks to your team of people she is now expecting in August. I am doing an article in school and since all my information is gone, I hoped that you could send me more information on abortion. Thank you, for your help in my situation.
My name is Caroline and I’m 15. I wish to find out more about abortion. I have decided to write to you because today I heard a very touching poem. I don’t know the name of it but I managed to get your address from the back of it. I hope you can help me. I just want some leaflets about abortion, to help me see both sides of it. I also hope you can send me a copy of the poem.
Caroline M, Co. Meath
I attended the meeting of Youth Defence at the Bridge Hotel, Waterford. I'm sorry you were unable to speak at the meeting, but may I just say what a commendable job the lads did in explaining about the horror of abortion and how we can best fight its legalisation in Ireland.
I joined Youth Defence after the meeting, and hope I can be a useful member. I'm 25 years old, married and have three young children. I left nursing in England when the conscientious objection clause was due to be scrapped. This would have made refusal to attend abortions a sackable offence.
I wear my ‘Precious Feet' all the time and intend to help promote the wonderful work of Youth Defence anyway I can.
In the last number of weeks I have found myself impressed by your recent advertising campaign, referring in particular to your use of billboard posters. The recent climate has made me re-consider the issue of abortion to the extent that I have formed a desire to join your organisation. I feel the work that Youth Defence is engaged in is of the most pressing social concern and worthy of support.
I myself am a 19-year-old law student in Trinity and am eager to become involved in this issue. If you could please reply to me I would be very grateful.
William, Templemore, Co. Tipperary
"Yesterday I was going shopping in my local town, Tullamore. Outside there were people handing out leaflets on abortion and I signed your petition not really knowing much about the effects of abortion. But after signing the form I received information on this subject. I put it into my bag and passed no remark. At home I looked through it. I was shocked and appalled by the material. There was a postcard of a 7-month-old baby aborted. I cried when I saw it and read the card. It hurt me to think people could do something like this.
I'm sorry for telling you this but I thought I would let you know that your work is not going to waste as there are people out there hearing what you are trying to get across. I just wish people facing the situation understand the right thing - abortion is not an option. I would like more details on this. It doesn't matter how bad the information is or looks. I would like to know more. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Keep up the good work. I know its working. I am a 17 year old student and I will be telling people what I read in your information pack
Emma, Ballycumber, Offaly
I was just walking around Killarney last Saturday the 9th October I saw the abortion stand. I was deeply moved that people like you are doing something about it. I would like to get involved in the whole ‘ban abortion' thing, so if you could please send me some information on how to join the Youth Defence, I would be very pleased.
Bridget G, Killarney, Co. Kerry
Could you please let me have 50 copies of "The Life Book" and if possible the coloured leaflet which showed Niamh and Pope John Paul? (This appears to have greatly interested a lapsed 15-year-old girl, her father tells me. They've never had the Catholic faith presented to them before as alive, vital, attractive and that leaflet does that.
Michael and Dolores F, Co. Mayo
I am writing to you about the leaflets you delivered outside the central bank a few days ago. I was completely shocked when I read how abortion was really performed. I can't believe, I thought abortion was OK. If you have anymore leaflets on abortion, I would appreciate if you would send them to me at the address above.
If there's anything I can do, I'd be glad to help.
Jessica R, Lucan, Dublin,
RTE PRESS OFFICE
Comments made after RTE's Documentary programme Leargas was screened on tv
"Programme a credit to RTE - I feel very proud of Youth Defence."
"Programme very biased - extreme views which were not challenged."
"Please pass on my congratulations to the Producer of the programme - Bravo RTE."
"What part of the programme was offensive and harmful to children." (Caller was referring to a "warning" given before the programme about its content).
"A terrific programme - very fair and impressive - Youth Defence shown as human people."
"Thank you RTE for an honest interview - Youth Defence are not extremists."
"A programme which was nothing but a recruitment for the Organisation - no balance."
"A very good programme - showed Youth Defence as caring people."
“On the offensive, but not off the wall”
Kerry McCarthy, Evening Herald
I have been receiving your mailings for years and I am very impressed with your work. Without your commitment to Life, I shudder to think where Ireland would be today.... morally adrift like most of Europe, and killing its young. Reading "Solas" I am both filled with pride at your efforts and success, and fear that the agents of death will never, ever stop in their war on Life.Thank you for your great efforts
I went to the talk last night in Maynooth and thought David Prentice and Wesley Smith were excellent speakers in describing adult and embryonic stem cell research and gave very good answers to some tough questions. They are remarkable people.
Hello over there in Ireland. Your organisation is doing a great job. I was fortunate to be given a copy of Solas here in New Zealand and am very interested in the No Exceptions campaign. I would appreciate it if you are able to send me half a dozen of your pamphlets and a couple of the posters DON'T USE ME FOR SPARE PARTS.
Robyn Murray, New Zealand
I am so encouraged by the little I have read about your efforts on behalf of unborn children. My family and I have been fighting the battle here in Canada all of our lives and often it becomes disheartening. The "light at the end of the tunnel" for me is the activity of young people, like yourselves who are now standing up for the truth and calling abortion what it is; big people killing little people for convenience.
Across Canada it is the University students who are bringing this issue to the media as a " freedom of speech and peaceful demonstration right", and indirectly forcing the abortion law (or rather "lack of law") to the forefront. I am quick to tell people that I was born in Ireland as it is one of the few countries which has not yet given in to the pressures of the UN and EU to allow abortion and now embryonic stem cell research; a fact which I am proud of.
God Bless all of you for your courage and persistence in this spiritual battle. May Ireland be a haven for the culture of life and may her government never allow the murder of her children, her greatest asset.
Therese R, Canada
I just wanted to drop a line to congratulate you all. The conference the weekend was beyond a doubt the most professionally organised, productive event this year. It had the hallmarks of great devotion and will contribute greatly to the pro-life movement staying a step ahead of the opposition. One couldn't help but be inspired by the speakers and the energy of the organisers. From the brochures to the displays, from the entrance music to the great talks, from the venue to the balloons & creche for kids - to everything in between - it was brilliant!
Keith, Finglas, Dublin
Recently started, Youth For Life Belgium decided that it was a good idea to participate in the Viva la Vida! conference in Dublin. To get to know more pro-life people, to share experiences, get new ideas, and above all we heard from Bryan Kemper that the Youth Defence people were quiet good in the parties after the pro-life stuff. We absolutely had no idea what to expect, we kind of took the right plane and suddenly we found ourselves standing at Dublin's airport. Very soon became clear that Youth Defence ROCKS! Everything was organised so professional, the speakers were simply stunning and we enjoyed every minute of our stay in Dublin. The Youth Defence people are so full of energy and pro-life passion that it was impossible to stay unsensitive to it.
We returned to Belgium with a feeling of regret that this fantastic weekend had passed so quickly, but with more hope than ever, thousands of new ideas and a lot of new friends for life;).
Liesbeth, Nele & Marie-Astrid (Youth For Life Belgium)
"Thank you!" for the great conference in Dublin! We had a splendid time on your wonderful isle! The high quality of the talks and the personal example and fire of many young prolifers were a big encouragement for us! Keep up your good work! God bless the "Youth Defence", stay firm, be light for Europe!
Michael (Jugend für das Leben, Germany)
One wonders how the tykes at Youth Defence and Life Institute get a moment's rest...
From an angry blogger annoyed at our persistent campaigning
RE the Youth Defence representative on BBC (12.16.2010) I was so impressed to whatch such a young woman talking about defense of the unborn life. I am so happy to have my children and so glad to think of hope when I see people moblizing in defense of life in its plenitude. Congratulations.
Maria Barbosa Lima, Brazil
Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I showed this to my good friend and now she is not going to have an abortion. She is 11 weeks & hasn't told her family yet n had already talked to the clinic and everything. She was totally freaked out before but we saw this and then she changed her mind. She feels better now but is a bit worried about college etc. I know abortion would have been totally wrong for her & i think her parents will be ok. Thanks for making this, its really good n makes u think.
Sandra; comment left on our YouTube video : Project Truth
I received a copy of this report by post and I think it is absolute dynamite! It shows the sham behind this whole case and the undercover plot to force Ireland to legalise abortion by manipulating the truth.
Could you please send me 2 more copies? I would like to give one to my GP and other friends.
Brigid McA, Co. Antrim
You guys are so inspirational. Your energy and enthusiasm; your vitality and love for life is contageous. I only hope and pray that all your wonderful efforts bear fruit. This generation and future generations will be in your debt. No combination of words can do justice to your heroic actions on behalf of the unborn.
Sean C, Co. Clare
We heard that people in Ireland do things differently, but to say we were surprised is to put it mildly. We were thrilled to learn of Youth Defence And their no-compromise approach to keeping abortion illegal – followed up by their willingness to share with it us!
Our organization is called Personhood USA, and we are trying to make abortion illegal with no exceptions.
We have long been fans of Youth Defence and their efforts to keep abortion illegal in Ireland. You see, YD has something we have been severely lacking in the United States – an organized, well thought out marketing approach to reaching citizens on behalf of innocent babies' lives.
When I first saw Youth Defence's brilliant billboards, leaflets, and signs, I was blown away. I thought "This is what we need. Along with our strategy to make abortion illegal, we need a practical campaign to reach the masses." We contacted Youth Defence, and to our amazement they offered us their billboard images – which are now being used not only to keep abortion illegal in Ireland, but also to try to make abortion illegal in the U.S.
Youth Defence's generosity with their amazing billboard images is instrumental in our efforts here, and we are so thankful for their willingness to save babies lives on every continent. We have worked with many organizations over the years, and Youth Defence's name always comes to the top of any discussion on prolife matters - because they are doing what's right, and getting the job done.
Kevin Mason, President, Personhood USA
This day was amazing (Viva la Vida Festival). Some if the group I brought commented on the fact that they had never really given any thought to what abortion involved as they just by passed it as a ring to even think about living in England. They raved about what they learnt the whole rest of the week..
Ciara F, UK, via Facebook
You guys were amazing! thank you for such rich content in the conference!
Paula M, UK
I loved your Conference!! Excellent speakers! Great Faith and knowhow! CONGRATULATIONS!
Well done to YD for your great billboard campaign! Even the abortion lobby in NZ is carrying some anti-YD pictures, so the ripple is quite a big one!
Roger, New Zealand