Breda O'Brien

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Breda O'Brien (born in 1962) is an Irish teacher and columnist, writing a weekly column for The Irish Times. O'Brien is a frequent spokesperson for Catholic-based views of political issues such as opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. She founded the Irish chapter of Feminists for Life in 1992.

Early life and education

Born in Dungarvan, County Waterford, O'Brien was educated at the Convent of Mercy, Dungarvan and later at the Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin.


O'Brien taught at Muckross Park College, a public Catholic girls' school, between 1983 and 1987. She later returned to this post in 1992, and has remained there since. She has worked as a video producer and communications trainer in the Catholic Communications Centre (founded by the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference), Booterstown, Dublin from 1988 to 1991. She worked as a researcher for RTÉ from 1991 to 1992. Her career as a columnist began with The Sunday Business Post from 1997 to 2000 and continued with The Irish Times.[1]

O'Brien is a patron of the Iona Institute, a conservative Catholic pressure group,[2] and appears regularly in the Irish media as a contributor, supporting the teachings of the Catholic Church.

In her Irish Times column, she has expressed her opposition to abortion in all circumstances, including rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormality,[3] and to same-sex marriage.

Her stance on civil partnerships has changed. Initially opposed to them in 2008,[4][5] and 2010[6][7] by 2015, in the run up to the Irish marriage equality referendum, she claimed to be in support of them.[8][9]

She is married, and has four children who have been home-schooled.[10][11]

See also


  1. ^ Bourke, Angela, ed. (2002). The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Irish Women's Writing and Traditions, Volume 5. NYU Press. ISBN 9780814799079. 
  2. ^ Kayla Hertz. ""Should we let mothers marry their daughters?" conservative Breda O’Brien asks on marriage referendum -". IrishCentral. Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  3. ^ O'Brien, Breda (2012). "Despite some awful dilemmas, abortion is not an option". The Irish Times (Dublin: The Irish Times). Retrieved 16 April 2013. 
  4. ^ O'Brien, Breda (12 July 2008). "Same-sex relationships no substitute for marriage". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  5. ^ O'Brien, Breda (5 July 2008). "Activists using 'homophobia' label as bullying tactic". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  6. ^ O'Brien, Breda (26 June 2010). "Upside-down world if church denied freedom of speech". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  7. ^ O'Brien, Breda (6 Feb 2010). "Genuinely tolerant society will not be a cold house for religion". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Ryan, Órla (22 January 2014). "‘Should we allow mothers to marry their daughters?’". Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Finucane, Marian (22 February 2014). "Breda O'Brien - interviewed on the Marian Finucane Show". RTÉ Radio 1. Retrieved 16 February 2015. 
  10. ^
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