Fr Conor McDonough OPAs part of their 2017 celebrations, Dublin’s St Patrick’s Day Festival commissioned a poem, ‘My Ireland’, by Stephen James Smith, available now on YouTube. It’s a kaleidoscope of incongruous impressions of contemporary Ireland and its various mythologies, with some very moving parts and powerfully...

It’s hard to get across to younger generations today the enormity of the scandal that was the revelation in 1992 that Bishop Eamonn Casey had secretly fathered a child years earlier.One got a sense of the impact this week by the fact that the country’s largest-selling daily newspaper The Irish Independent carried a special eight-page...

What would Ireland be without St Patrick? Before Christianity, the classical world knew almost nothing of Hibernia. According to Philip Freeman, visiting divinity scholar at Harvard, “the few references to Ireland in classical sources are largely complaints that the island was a land of savages who brought terror to the good people of...

Many Irish Christians will have felt sadness and sympathy when Cardinal Desmond Connell died last month. While secure in his convictions, he was faced as Archbishop of Dublin with mounting difficulties, to which past practices provided few answers. He bore his office with courtesy and dignity, and tried to carry out his responsibilities to...

The legacy of Ireland’s institutions continues to haunt us, whether they be industrial schools, mother and baby homes, or Magdalene homes. Can the mental hospitals be far behind? Women considered ‘fallen’ ended up in institutions, so did their babies. Children guilty of delinquency ended up in reformatories. Children whose...

Everything is gift. That’s a principle that ultimately undergirds all spirituality, all morality, and every commandment. Everything is gift. Nothing can be ultimately claimed as our own. Genuine moral and religious sensitivity should make us aware of that. Nothing comes to us by right.This isn’t something we automatically know. During...

It’s all over bar the shouting, so the saying goes. As the Citizens’ Assembly moved last weekend from a session of presentations and questioning to a phase of internal debate towards a final ballot on recommendations to be put to the Oireachtas, it is a fairly safe bet that we have not heard the last of the shouting on the emotive...

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