New report or old stereotype?

A new report issued by the Central Statistics Office claims that Irish Protestants live longer than Irish Catholics – comparing 563 Protestant deaths per 100,000 persons as against 660 Catholic deaths. One historian, Dr Ida Milne, attributed this trend to Protestants probably having a thriftier and more frugal lifestyle. Protestants see thrift as a virtue –…

To access this post, you must purchase The Irish Catholic Newspaper – Digital Edition.

In this attitude, Ireland was by no means unique

What happened to former Garda Majella Moynihan – pressurised into yielding her baby son for adoption, back in the 1980s, after she became pregnant out of wedlock – is distressing and upsetting. And it’s certainly unjust that women were stigmatised when this happened while the fathers were seldom held responsible for a pregnancy they had…

To access this post, you must purchase The Irish Catholic Newspaper – Digital Edition.

Let’s hear it for dad’s day

Mother’s Day is a very old tradition – linked both with ‘Lady Day’, being the Feast of the Annunciation, and ‘Mothering Sunday’, when apprentices had time off to return to their mother-village. Father’s Day is of more recent coinage, launched in America in 1910, by one Sonora Smart Dodd, wishing to honour her father, who…

To access this post, you must purchase The Irish Catholic Newspaper – Digital Edition.

A more spiritual treatment of divorce

The streets have been plastered with posters for this week’s divorce referendum, bearing the words: “Help reduce financial distress – vote Yes” and “Help reduce emotional distress – vote Yes”. All advertising is effective, so I daresay this sells its message successfully enough. Though I found myself thinking sceptically that it might be more honest…

To access this post, you must purchase The Irish Catholic Newspaper – Digital Edition.

Life isn’t always rosy, but Que Sera, Sera

I don’t think I ever really understood loneliness when I was younger. Feeling lonely? Then join a club, develop an interest, get involved with a social project. The solution is in your own hands! But perhaps we grow more understanding with age – hopefully so, anyway – and I have come to empathise, much more than…

To access this post, you must purchase The Irish Catholic Newspaper – Digital Edition.

The quiet referendum

I have been surprised by how quiet the national conversation has been about the coming divorce referendum – if there has been a meaningful national conversation at all. In 1995 (and during the two previous divorce referenda), the newspapers blazed with contesting opinions and the airwaves filled with heated debate. Perhaps louder debate will be engaged…

To access this post, you must purchase The Irish Catholic Newspaper – Digital Edition.

Sex education is just 
not that easy to teach

When people of my generation look back at the subject of sex education, I think many would conclude that it was frankly woeful. Basically, there wasn’t any ‘education’ in what was then known, euphemistically, although not untruthfully, as ‘the facts of life’. It was considered indelicate to explain too much, and much energy was expended…

To access this post, you must purchase The Irish Catholic Newspaper – Digital Edition.

No, Archbishop Martin, we’re not prisoners of history but guardians of legacy

Every day, since April 15, the French media – as well as philosophers and commentators – have been reflecting on the question of how the inferno at Notre Dame is a reminder of how precious the cathedral is, and how it links France today with France’s past and its Catholic culture. Every king of France…

To access this post, you must purchase The Irish Catholic Newspaper – Digital Edition.