Prompted by the Tuam babies controversy there were more and more harrowing personal stories, testifying to times that were less compassionate and often more cruel than today. Referring to the culture of the times helps our understanding but doesn’t provide justification – Church-run institutions should have been counter-cultural,...

Though it is not presented as a Lenten book, Donal Murray’s latest book is very much the sort of book which will provide readers with many insights in the way things are. He is writing very much for those who find the ‘redrawn landscape’ of morality to which his title alludes, and find it more like a trackless wilderness....

In almost unbearably graphic prose, Samer – a pseudonym – describes a place in which atrocities are everyday, and life barely tolerable. Children walk to school past crucifixes from which decapitated bodies hang. Food is becoming scarcer and more expensive; electricity is rationed; rubbish piles up on the deserted streets.Raqqa is an...

Carraig Books, a long-established bookshop in Blackrock  village, is to close soon, certainly before the end of the year.  It is one of the few second-hand bookshops that carry a large stock of philosophical and religious books, but as the owner explained to me recently, these subjects do not sell as well as they once did. Much of his...

The primacy of the word, what the Greek philosophers called logos, has been for many the only way in which both good and bad can be distinguished. Yet one has, in this day and this age, to doubt some whether this is always so.Take these words – they are from a cradle Catholic, whose mind and imagination were filled with the aberrant lore of...

They say there are really only a half dozen plotlines. Everything else in film (and literature?) is an exemplification of these templates. Old wine, new bottles.And so it is here. For all the blood-spattering, when we get down to it this is really just another tale of crime and punishment, of righting the wrongs of a society gone mad at the core....

There were so many instances of classic media bias.  It started with The Pat Kenny Tonight Show on TV 3, Wednesday of last week, when the topic was the Eighth Amendment, a debate prompted by last weekend’s meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly. First off there was a soft interview with a pro-choice woman who had a termination in...

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