​I’ve been involved in two wars, as an unarmed foot soldier.

Published: 20 June 2023

One — which I have been part of for several decades — is the struggle of good people on the island of Ireland against the IRA, its apologists and the appeasers who swallow their propaganda.

The other, much newer, brawl, is with opponents of free speech, and, at present, particularly predatory men and their gullible followers who use gender-identity ideology — which claims that self-identified gender rather than sex is the correct way to classify people — to dismantle societal rules that protect women and children.

These are long and bitter campaigns, but the propensity of bad guys and idiots to overreach is something that will usually in the end spur observers to join the battle against them.

Yes, Sinn Féin is in the ascendant, but it is a party that cannot eradicate the truth about hideous IRA atrocities that united its enemies and has abandoned all its principles except a demand for a united Ireland that will not be backed by the partitionist electorate.

The Irish wing of the culture war that has the Anglosphere in turmoil has gone overboard and radicalised their opponents. I can’t understand how anyone in the Irish cabinet with half a brain could have approved the Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences) Bill. It has extended the definition of gender from male and female to the bewildering: “the gender of a person or the gender which a person expresses as the person’s preferred gender or with which the person identifies and includes transgender and gender other than those of male and female”.

As Rónán Mullen — one of the few Christian voices in the senate — pointed out an excellent speech in this disgracefully short debate, there are more than 100 genders listed on the internet that include rubbish like “cookie gender” and “gendercat” which people could now be jailed for dismissing as dangerous nonsense.

Typical of the supporters of this kind of gibberish is Senator Pauline O’Reilly, Chair of the Green Party, who explained that “the dirty, filthy, underbelly of hatred in Irish society” required “the restriction of freedom”. “If a person’s views on other people’s identities make their lives unsafe and insecure, and cause them such deep discomfort that they cannot live in peace, our job as legislators is to restrict those freedoms for the common good.”

I’ve enjoyed some of the thousands of incredulous, furious and mocking reactions to her senate speech that went viral.

One of the greatest UK warriors on trans issues is Helen Joyce, a London-based Dubliner, a distinguished Economist journalist who turned fulltime activist when she met people whose lives had been ruined by drugs and — in some cases — surgery, to live in the sex they thought they should have been. Her brilliant book Trans: Gender Identity and the New Battle for Women’s Rights tells you everything you need to know.

She is no enemy of trans people, just the extremists “who want the world broken to fit them back into the sex category that they’re not,” some of whom have had her cancelled or threatened to kill her.

She flew to Dublin last week to warn about this “dangerous and draconian Hate Speech bill”.

Here is part of what she wrote afterwards in her newsletter, “Joyce Activated”, which I recommend to anyone who cares about this scandal that is destroying the lives of vulnerable people.

“I want to take this opportunity to say some things that could soon be crimes to say in Ireland. They’re all true, and they are all important:

“Men can’t be women. None of them, no matter how much they feel like they were supposed to be women.

“Children shouldn’t be given puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones. Ever. Doing so is a grotesque human-rights abuse. They shouldn’t be told they can change sex. They shouldn’t be told that their feelings define their identities. It encourages mental unwellness.

“No men, and that includes men who say they are women, should be allowed into women’s spaces or sports.

“Being a man or woman is entirely a matter of biology and not at all a matter of identity.”

We need to support courageous people like Helen Joyce and J K Rowling. Without them, Western culture is in peril.

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