05:42 GMT25 January 2021
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    The Irish Council for Civil Liberties is a Dublin-based pressure group which campaigns for "women's rights, equality, tolerance, pluralism and secularism".

    US billionaire George Soros reportedly gave a grant of 53,000 euros to Liam Herrick, when he took over at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in 2017.

    The money was paid through Soros's New York-based Open Society Foundations, which helped fund Amnesty International's pro-choice campaign during last year's abortion referendum campaign in the Republic of Ireland, according to The Times.

    ICCL told The Times it did not declare the donation to Ireland's Standards in Public Office Commission as it "did not use any of this grant for political campaigning."

    Mr. Herrick is a former adviser to Michael D. Higgins, who was re-elected as President of Ireland in October. 

    Soros is known for championing liberal causes across the globe, an effort that had sparked backlash in his native Hungary.

    The OSF has been accused of meddling in other countries' internal affairs and Soros has been accused of funding Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Euromaidan protests in 2013-2014.

    The Open Society Institute and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, which were merged as the OSF in 2010, were recognised as undesirable groups in Russia in 2015. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office says they pose a threat to Russia's constitutional order and national security.    

    Recent reports suggest Soros' massive grants are used by groups for questionable purposes, such as digging for evidence of the so far unproved Russia-Trump collusion or verbally attacking Trump allies.

     "Whatever point George Soros makes, you can bet your life that he has an ulterior motive and a hidden agenda," Srdja Trifkovic, a Serbian-American writer on international affairs and foreign affairs editor for Chronicles magazine, told Sputnik last month.


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    liberal, civil liberties, Michael D. Higgins, George Soros, Hungary, Ireland
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