I’ve been left a short, single-line Comment underneath one of my blog posts which linked to a 2012 article by the University Times examining Youth Defence, the conservative Christian grouping here in Ireland. The Comment threatens legal action against myself in a rather sinister manner:

“Ar son na beatha,,

“The referenced article has now been deleted from University Times website for reasons unknown (Séamas 16/07/2013)”

Becuase it was libellous, I will now be sending your article to their solicitor”

[Misspelling in the original]

The domain associated with the email, “”, is no longer in service but it is registered under the administration of one Clodagh Murphy at 60a Capel Street, Dublin, Ireland. This, of course, is also the HQ of Youth Defence and others on the Christian Right, and YD’s own website is registered in the name of Clodagh Murphy (which makes the threat to send the article on to “their” solicitor a rather obvious attempt at intimidation). Indeed the prolific Murphy and her Gmail address is linked to the registration of several Catholic-orientated websites (some of which are discussed here and here). Whatever the allegations made against the original article there was certainly nothing libellous in my link (indeed I expressed scepticism about some of the claims in the UT piece). Those who support Youth Defence – and its public image – do the grouping no favours by pursuing such Orwellian tactics. Especially if those critics they threaten have otherwise made some effort to treat Youth Defence and others with some fairness while expressing their own views.

It is hardly the actions of a self-declared “Christian” organisation…



  1. Séamas – the word “Christian”, as used by some organizations, is wielded as a shield to ward off and deflect any questions/criticism from disbelievers, heretics, atheists and anyone who uses their own mind ( as provided by Mother nature, their parents and ancestors) to think for themselves.
    It’s just the same way “Loyalty”uses the Fleg in the North, expecting that all sorts of civic misbehaviour will be condoned.
    Sorry you have received a threat – can’t quite work out what it was all about – am confident any good lawyer won’t be able to either!!

    1. Unfortunately I had to temporarily remove the original posting on ASF which links to the UT article while I consult my own solicitor. I don’t take kindly to threats. Of course this makes it a bit harder for readers to understand what all the fuss is about. However I thought it important that people were aware that these types of threats and intimidation are being made to close down debate or discussions about certain disproportionately powerful groups in Irish society.

      I was contacted in confidence yesterday by someone who runs a well-known forum to say that he too has to watch/censor what is posted there because of the constant threats of legal action from closely linked right-wing Christian organisations. He was quite sympathetic and recommended that I put up a “you post comments here at your own risk” type warning. Never thought of it before really.

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