As I sat down to write this I was very pleased to learn that Frances Fitzgerald, the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, is asking for a “root and branch review” of An Garda Síochána, for a Patten-style international commission to examine Irish policing, as Lord Chris Patten and his Independent Commission provided a blueprint for the...

The Pope’s representative Archbishop Charles Brown left Ireland this week to take up his new posting in Albania. Soon, a replacement will be appointed and a new archbishop will come to present his credentials to President Michael D. Higgins and act as a visible sign of unity between the Church in Ireland and the Holy Father.Since his arrival...

When it was announced that our Papal Nuncio was being dispatched to Albania, there was shock that firstly the nuncio was leaving after only five years and secondly, Albania! Some in Church circles saw Machiavellian motivations behind the appointment by the Vatican. There is a tendency here in Ireland to see everything the Vatican does as straight...

Archbishop Eamon Martin recently said that priests and bishops need to get used to “letting go” of the central role in parish communities if faith is to be re-energised.In many ways, it’s not an issue of choice: declining numbers of priests mean that clergy simply cannot be present in the way they were in the past. Parishes that...

There was a young woman of my acquaintance who, a couple of years ago, disappeared from view, and then returned as a male, having had a sex change operation. She was always a boyish kind of girl, academically clever and admirably concerned with refugee causes.It’s a Christian duty not to judge, and even if older people were bewildered by...

Congratulations to Katie Ascough on becoming president of UCD’s student union. It is a great victory, not least because she made no secret of her pro-life views or that she is a person of faith.It gives great hope to other students and young people in general, that Ireland does not always have to be a cold house for students who are Catholic...

That an organisation calling itself the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) should ever have denied that it was engaged in political activities seems, on the face of it, absurd, and it is hardly surprising that it was ultimately forced to face this reality. What’s more interesting, in some ways, is that Amnesty International Ireland escaped the...

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