SIPO: Amnesty Ireland Claim To Take Soros' OSF Money For Repealing the 8th - And, MUST Return It!

According to SIPO Rules, Amnesty Ireland Must Return Soros' OSF Money To Repeal the 8th

 

SIPO: Amnesty Ireland Claim To Take Soros' OSF Money For Repealing the 8th - And, MUST Return It!

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SIPO: Amnesty Ireland Claim To Take Soros' OSF Money For Repealing the 8th - And, MUST Return It!

Amnesty (Int'l) Ireland have been receiving foreign money, in the form of a grant, to fund their 'It's time. Repeal the 8th.' And, according to the Standards in Public Office Commission's (SIPO) 'Explanatory Note' on Third Parties receiving donations, this (i.e., receiving funds, from foreign sources, to influence Irish government/legal policy) appears to be against the law.

But, how do we know Amnesty Ireland have been in receipt of foreign funding? Astonishingly, because they have actually put it up on their own website. Here's a screengrab from Thursday, 9/11/2017:

As you can read, in the section detailing the types of income they receive, Amnesty Ireland say: "We also receive income from philanthropic organisations to work on specific issues. Funding for these projects can only be spent in these areas. For example, our 'It's time. Repeal the 8th.' campaign is in part funded by a grant from the Open Society Foundation."

Perhaps, it was an error in judgement to include the example of OSF funding (and, or, take it from the outset), but there it is.

OSF headquarters are in New York City, and, from the following screengrab, it does not appear that they operate an office in Ireland:

And, SIPO guidelines, established in their document, 'Explanatory Note for Third Parties', expressly prohibit donations, for "political purposes", being received from "a body corporate or unincorporated body of persons which does not keep an office in the island of Ireland from which one or more of its principal activities is directed." (see p. 6)

But, how does SIPO define "political purposes"? In the same 'Explanatory Note' (p. 11), SIPO define "political purposes" as, among other things, to: "promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the interests of a third party in connection with the conduct or management of any campaign conducted with a view to promoting or procuring a particular outcome in relation to a policy or policies or functions of the Government or any public authority".

According to their website, Amnesty Ireland's 'It's time. Repeal the 8th.' campaign calls for the, "total repeal of the 8th Amendment and removal of the issue entirely from the Constitution", and for, "full decriminalisation of abortion."

It is pretty hard to make a believable, rational argument that a campaign called, 'It's time. Repeal the 8th.' is anything but political in nature!

So, the campaign - for which they claim to have received foreign funding - seems to meet the "political purposes" test.

Then, according to the 'Explanatory Note', any organisation in receipt of a donation exceeding the value of €100 must register with SIPO as a Third Party.

And, we are assuming that, because their 'It's time. Repeal the 8th.' campaign is, "in part funded by a grant from the Open Society Foundation", the donation was in excess of €100.

Astonishingly, however, Amnesty Ireland must have either registered and then "deregistered", or declared that they were not required to register, as of 6/1/2016. Here is a screengrab (22/10/2017) of SIPO's own webpage, detailing organisations who declared that they were not required to register. Note Amnesty Ireland is on this list - which (i.e., this list), incidentally, has now been taken off SIPO's website:

Taken together, but especially with respect to the issue of receiving funding from a foreign source, it would, thus, seem that Amnesty Ireland is, at minimum, in a very irregular position in respect of SIPO regulations, and, at worst, in violation of the law.

Remember that these rules on donations were put in place to safeguard the Irish Constitution and Irish law from being bought and paid for, by outside forces. But, these rules (and, the rule of law) will only be respected if they are enforced.

Therefore, this petition - directed to SIPO and Cc'ed to the entire Board of Amnesty Ireland - asks the agency to investigate these seeming irregularities with Amnesty Ireland and their OSF funding. And, further, this petition demands that if it is found that Amnesty illegally received donations from foreign sources, they must be compelled to return the funding.

Thank you for signing this important petition.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Here is the Amnesty Ireland webpage where the organisation admits to using OSF funding for "political purposes." - https://www.amnesty.ie/who-we-are/how-were-run/how-are-we-funded/

Amnesty Ireland details their 'It's time...' campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment - https://www.amnesty.ie/itstime/

SIPO's 'Explanatory Note for Third Parties' - http://www.sipo.ie/en/Reports/Register-of-Third-Parties/Explanatory-Note-for-Third-Parties1.pdf

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According to SIPO Rules Amnesty Ireland Must Return Soros' OSF Money To Repeal the 8th

For the Kind Attention of:

The Members of the Standards in Public Office Commission -

Chairman of SIPO - Mr Justice Daniel O'Keeffe
The Comptroller and Auditor General of Ireland - Mr Seamus McCarthy
The Ombudsman of the Irish Government - Mr Peter Tyndall
The Clerk of Dáil Éireann - Mr Peter Finnegan
The Clerk of Seanad Éireann - Mr Martin Groves
Former member of Dáil Éireann - Mr Jim O'Keeffe

Cc'ed to Members of the Board of Amnesty Ireland: Chairperson of Amnesty Ireland –  Mr David White; Honorary Treasurer of Amnesty Ireland – Mr James Kelly; Honorary Secretary – Ms Mary Quinn; Member of the Board of Amnesty Ireland - Ms Sadhbh Sheeran; Member of the Board of Amnesty Ireland - Mr Niall Cowley; Member of the Board of Amnesty Ireland - Dr Shane Darcy; Member of the Board of Amnesty Ireland - Mr Donal Prior; Member of the Board of Amnesty Ireland - Cliona O’Farrelly; and; Member of the Board of Amnesty Ireland - Ms Brid Cannon

We, the undersigned, understand that, from their own admission on their website, Amnesty Ireland openly claim to be in receipt of a grant* from George Soros' Open Society Foundations (OSF), to help fund their 'It's time. Repeal the 8th' campaign. (Please see the screen grab from 10/11/2017 accompanying this petition.)

There are three obvious issues here:

1) SIPO's definition of "political purposes" in your 'Explanatory Note for Third Parties' (p. 11) is: "to promote or oppose, directly or indirectly, the interests of a third party in connection with the conduct or management of any campaign conducted with a view to promoting or procuring a particular outcome in relation to a policy or policies or functions of the Government or any public authority."

Among other things (and, according to their website), Amnesty Ireland's 'It's time. Repeal the 8th' campaign calls for the, "total repeal of the 8th Amendment and removal of the issue entirely from the Constitution", and for, "full decriminalisation of abortion."

It is pretty hard to make a believable, rational argument that a campaign called, 'It's time. Repeal the 8th.' is anything but political in nature!

Therefore, it would seem that this campaign meets the "political purposes" test.

2) And, SIPO defines a "Third Party" as: "any individual or group, other than a registered political party or election candidate, who or which accepts, in a particular calendar year, a donation for political purposes exceeding the value of €100."

Assuming that the OSF grant was in excess of €100, and according to the above definition of "political purposes", Amnesty Ireland would appear to qualify as a, "Third Party". Furthermore, according to the 'Registration' section in SIPO's 'Explanatory Note for Third Parties' (page 4): "A third party must, on receipt of a donation exceeding the value of €100, and before incurring any expenses for political purposes, or any further such expenses, [register with] the Standards Commission."

But, the SIPO website (at least until 22/10/2017) showed that Amnesty had "deregistered" as a Third Party on 6/1/2016, with no apparent action taken since.

3) According to the Section on 'Limits on Donations' in SIPO's 'Explanatory Note for Third Parties' (page 6), a recipient of a donation may not, inter alia, accept: "a donation from a body corporate or unincorporated body of persons which does not keep an office in the island of Ireland from which one or more of its principal activities is directed."

But, the Open Society Foundations are headquartered in New York City. And, from their website, it does not appear that the OSF operates an office in Ireland.

Taken together, but especially with respect to this last issue (i.e., receiving funding from a foreign source), it would, thus, seem that Amnesty Ireland is in violation of the law.

Remember that these rules on donations were put in place to safeguard the Irish Constitution and Irish law from being bought and paid for, by outside forces. But, these rules (and, the rule of law) will only be respected if they are enforced.

Please investigate these seeming irregularities with Amnesty. And, should you find that Amnesty illegally received donations from foreign sources, you must demand that they return the funding. Thank you!

*"Grant" is synonymous with "donation".

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

SIPO: Amnesty Ireland Claim To Take Soros' OSF Money For Repealing the 8th - And, MUST Return It!

Sign this petition now!

02,000
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1,317 people have signed. Help us reach 2,000 signatures.