Events at Vatican summit intrigue media

The most prominent religious affairs story in the media last week was the child abuse summit in Rome. Commentary varied from optimistic to cynical and all shades between. Some Catholics called for a review of Catholic teaching on sexuality, but I felt they needed to be more specific. That position could mean anything from scrapping…

Mixed attitudes to graphic presentations

As a nation we’ve improved road fatality statistics over the years, an improvement that’s all the more noteworthy considering the increase in traffic volumes. So I’m presuming it’s down to NCT testing, better roads, improved driver training, penalty points and hard hitting road safety campaigns. I know it has an impact when I see that…

Tapping into education for everyone

There’s usually a positive response when people whose background becomes an obstacle to education manage to access it despite the challenges, and sometimes later in life. Last Friday night’s Nationwide (RTE 1) was quite uplifting, focusing as it did on the Trinity Access Programme (TAP). We heard from several people, young and older, who had…

ITV’s gamble on Cleaning Up pays off

People say we have a toxic relationship with all sorts of things, but gambling has to be up there as one of the most serious scourges. TV drama Cleaning Up (UTV, Wednesdays and Virgin Media 1, Mondays) makes for uncomfortable viewing as Sam (Sheridan Smith) unravels due to her addiction to all sorts of gambling.…

Strange juxtaposition of grace and violence

I have mixed feelings about boxing as a sport – it can teach self-discipline, focus the energies of the young, enhance physical fitness, but there can be a brutality about it that is unnerving. Katie (RTÉ1, Tuesday) was an impressive documentary from Ross Whitaker that followed the career of Irish boxer Katie Taylor. It was full…

Little Resistance to RTE’s new offering

Sometimes a programme arrives with mighty hype and fails to live up to the high expectations, then sometimes you just about stumble upon a modest show that exceeds the low expectations. RTÉ’s War of Independence drama Resistance (RTÉ1, Sunday nights) was preceded by much hype. Now two episodes in, it is better than I expected.…