An island of calm shows its true worth

After last week’s review of the excellent programme on Fr Peyton, I’m in positive mode again. Last week BBC 2 Northern Ireland started a fine new series Oilithreacht (Pilgrimage), under the ‘BBC Gaeilge’ banner. Monday night’s episode was a warm treatment of the Lough Derg pilgrimage. It was promising that the focus was mainly on…

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.…