Among the most consistently interesting religious blogs over recent years have been those on the Catholic channel of patheos.com, with Eve Tushnet’s being a fine example of this. Tushnet, who converted to Catholicism in 1998, describes herself as an “openly lesbian and celibate Catholic”, and writes often on themes of religion of...

If you told me last year that Ryan Gosling would be playing the romantic lead in a musical, I’d probably have called for the men in the white coats to take you away. On second thoughts, though, this actor has been nothing if not diverse in his career thus far. Why not a song-and-dance man to boot? He even plays the piano and makes a...

I spent way too much time last Saturday glued to my screens watching the proceedings of the Citizens’ Assembly, streaming on the RTÉ News Now channel and online. It was a lot to take in.First off, I found it rather disconcerting to find an unrepresentative bunch of citizens (100 to represent four million?) meeting in a comfortable civilised...

Joe Carroll“We are the Supreme Court and under God we can do anything,” a judge of the court, Cecil Lavery, rebuked a young barrister who had the nerve to tell the court it did not have jurisdiction to decide a certain point. That barrister, Tom Finlay, later became a Chief Justice  and so could see for himself just how far the...

J. Anthony GaughanThis is a valuable biography of a truly remarkable person. The book’s title does not exaggerate. Máirtín Mór McDonogh (1860–1934) was a central figure in the civic life of Galway city and county for most of his life.Máirtín Mór was born on the island of Lettermullan in one of the remotest parts of Connemara to parents...

Tax avoidance is one of the greatest difficulties besetting the world economy. Accountant and tax campaigner Richard Murphy estimates that 10% – maybe more – of the world’s wealth is hidden away in tax havens. Taxed, the secreted trillions would provide more roads, more schools, more hospitals, everywhere.Tax havens put a...

One of the most interesting programmes shown over the Christmas period was the film Strange Occurrences in a Small Irish Village on RTÉ 1. This documentary told the story of Knock Shrine, mainly through interviews with some of the people involved in that parish. Parish priest Fr Richard Gibbons was a central focus of attention, with one...

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