ST. PAUL MN – July 29 marked the beginning of the 41st annual National Conservative Student Conference hosted by Young Americans Foundation (YAF). It was a time of growth, learning, and fellowship with like-minded students from around the nation and even around the world. At the week-long conference students heard from people like Vice-President Pence, Senator Ted Cruz, Lieutenant Allen West, Lila Rose, our own Kristan Hawkins, and many more.
However, when some of the international students from Ireland arrived home, they received a less than pleasant reception. Two of the Irish students who attended, Killian Foley-Walsh and Chloe Kennedy, are leaders in an Irish political group Young Fine Gael (YFG). Both have gotten tremendous backlash for attending the conference. Publications from the Irish Examiner and Independent.Ie slammed the student leaders for attending a “right-wing conservative youth conference.”
The Irish Examiner claimed that events such as YAF’s conference, where students learn about protecting the unborn and standing up for their Constitutional and God-given rights, are “intolerance morphing into hate.” An article on MSN stated this “Another Fine Gael source said it was ‘entirely inappropriate’ for a YFG president to attend such an event.” Apparently being pro-life and against abortion is “in complete contradiction to those of YFG and the inclusive society YFG envisions.”
The number of times that the speakers throughout the week shared with the attendees ways to be “happy warriors” and to not stoop to using the same tactics as the left are countless. It might do Ireland’s leaders good to check it out sometime. Some of these Irish leaders, even from the European Parliament, are wrongfully calling for the resignation of the two students, Foley-Walsh and Kennedy from their positions of leadership within YFG. They are telling the young leaders that because they chose to learn about Conservative principles and protecting life, they are no longer fit to lead.
Apparently, members of the European Parliament feel threatened by students who attend a conference to learn. As both a YAF and Students for Life student, I want to thank Kennedy and Foley-Walsh and their Irish compatriots for coming to the YAF conference! I had the honor of attending as well and left feeling invigorated and equipped to continue fighting the leftist agenda present on many of our universities and colleges. I know others felt the same.
By Hayley Tschetter, Student Intern for SFLA