Monday 23 March 2015

Head of Scotland's Catholic bishops says links between Church and SPUC will be strengthened by SPUC Pro-Life Scotland's new CEO

John Deighan
The Catholic Church in Scotland and SPUC Pro-Life Scotland are pleased to announce that John Deighan has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of SPUC Pro-Life Scotland. John has been the Catholic Church's Parliamentary Officer in Scotland for the past 16 years. In a statement (full text below), His Grace Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, said:
“The links between the church and SPUC in Scotland are already strong, but they will be strengthened and renewed as a result of John’s appointment.”
SPUC Pro-Life Scotland pointed to John’s long involvement in pro-life work, which began in the 1990s when he chaired the East Kilbride SPUC group.

Below are the full statements from the Catholic Church in Scotland and SPUC Pro-Life Scotland welcoming John's appointment. I would like to take this opportunity, not only to extend a warm welcome to John, but also to express my gratitude to Donna Nicholson for her many years of hard work and flair as Director of SPUC Pro-Life Scotland.

Statement from the Scottish Catholic Media Office:
Monday 23 March 2015

Bishops thank Parliamentary Officer for service

Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have thanked their Parliamentary Officer Mr John Deighan for his “resolute and dedicated service” to the Bishops’’ Conference over the past 16 years. Mr Deighan, who leaves to take up the post of Chief Executive Officer of SPUC (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) Scotland next month became the Catholic Church’s Parliamentary Officer in 1999 at the inception of the Scottish Parliament.

Commenting on the move, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops’ Conference said;

“John has provided dedicated and energetic service to the church in Scotland for 16 years and we wish him well in his new role. His ability to skilfully analyse political developments and track legislative changes has been immensely helpful to the Bishops’ Conference.”

The Archbishop added;

“The links between the church and SPUC in Scotland are already strong, but they will be strengthened and renewed as a result of John’s appointment.”

Responding to the Archbishop’s comments. John Deighan said;

“I have been privileged to work with the Scottish Bishops during a period of great political and parliamentary change and thank them all for their support and friendship over many years.”

“The greatest human rights challenge of our time is the right to life from conception. SPUC had been an outstanding organisation in its efforts to defend unborn children and those threatened by euthanasia. I greatly look forward to leading the organisation as it continues its work in this vital area and to continued collaboration with the Bishops’ Conference. I am confident there is much we can do to bring the justice of our cause to the attention of our fellow citizens and our politicians.”


Peter Kearney
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
G1 2DH
0141 221 1168(T)
0141 204 2458(F)
07968 122291(M)

Note to Editors:

1. John Deighan was appointed Parliamentary Officer to the Bishops’ Conference in June 1999, a new post, created by the Catholic Church to coincide with the re-establishment of the Scottish Parliament, he will take up his new post on 20 April 2015.
2. For further information on SPUC Scotland, contact Stephen Shaw on 01466 751267 (on Wednesday 25 and on Thursday 26 March call 0141 221 2094)

Statement from SPUC Pro-Life Scotland:
Appointment of New CEO

SPUC Pro-Life Scotland is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr John Deighan as their new Chief Executive Officer following 15 years as Parliamentary Officer with the Catholic Bishop’s Conference in Scotland where a considerable part of his work was in the pro-life field, particularly on the end of life issues of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

John’s long involvement in pro-life work began in the 1990s when he chaired the East Kilbride SPUC Group. He stood as a pro-life parliamentary candidate in both the 1997 General Election and the Paisley South by-election later the same year and has for the past nine years run the Paisley Pro-Life Group.

This strong foundation of pro-life work coupled with his extensive knowledge of the Holyrood Parliament gained through his role with the Scottish Catholic Bishop’s Conference made him the ideal candidate for the position.

Welcoming the appointment, Stephen Shaw, Board Chairman of SPUC Pro-Life Scotland stated

“We are delighted that John has accepted our offer and we feel confident that his appointment will bring a new enthusiasm for the pro-life cause in Scotland. I feel sure his undoubted commitment will encourage others to be more active and will attract new supporters to work in defence of life at all stages of its development, from conception to natural death”

For further information please contact

Stephen Shaw
0141 221 2094

Ian Murray
Comments on this blog? Email them to
Sign up for alerts to new blog-posts and/or for SPUC's other email services
Follow SPUC on Twitter
Like SPUC's Facebook Page
Please support SPUC. Please donate, join, and/or leave a legacy