Catholic Democrats (The National Party)
|Headquarters||47 O'Connell St.,
|Politics of the Republic of Ireland
The Catholic Democrats is a minor conservative political party in Ireland. It was formerly known as the National Party and then as Christian Democrats. It was founded in December 1995 by Nora Bennis, a Catholic values and anti-abortion activist. Bennis had surprised many with the size of her vote in the 1994 European election. Bennis played a leading role in the campaign against the divorce referendum of that year, which passed with 50.3% of vote in favour. She had previously run a conservative pressure group called Family Solidarity. The creation of the party by the Limerick-based Bennis caused tension in conservative Catholic circles, because it followed the establishment of the Christian Solidarity Party by Gerard Casey and other Dublin-based activists, who named their party to show support for Bennis' group.
The National Party aimed to attract the support of the large minority which still supported traditional Catholic morality in legislation. The party's policies also included support for financial support for rural communities and a smaller role for the state in economic affairs.
The party had no electoral success at any level, and did not contest further elections. The party was renamed the Christian Democrats, and then again during the course of 2012 as the Catholic Democrats. It is listed on the Register of Political Parties as Catholic Democrats (The National Party). They continue as a small activist organisation, and campaigned against the Children's referendum in 2012.
- List of Bodies Approved by the Referendum Commission under Section 7 of the Referendum Act 1998, in respect of the Referendum on the Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Bill 2012, retrieved 13 January 2014
- Bennis, Nora (30 August 2012). "The Children’s Rights Referendum – Bad or Good? Right or Wrong?". Retrieved 13 January 2014.
- Register of Political Parties, House of the Oireachtas
- Griffin, Dan (6 November 2012). "No campaign bemoans lack of time and resources -". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Barberis, Peter, John McHugh and Mike Tyldesley, 2005. Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organisations. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0-8264-5814-9, ISBN 978-0-8264-5814-8