Boycott of An Taoiseach by Boston Cathlolic Hierarchy

We will, in the coming weeks, be celebrating the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s visit to Ireland. Also coming up soon is the 53rd anniversary of the speech President Kennedy made to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association when he was running for the presidency of the United States. He made his speech in September 1960, … Continue reading

Magdalene Laundries Report

Members of this and the other House have raised issues concerning the recently issued report on the Magdalene laundries. I ask the Leader to try to obtain for me the answer to some very specific questions. I am interested in the financial investigation into the various organisations and the laundries. I refer, in particular, to … Continue reading

I’ll urge new law be watertight on suicide concerns

Day three of the Oireachtas hearings was about persuasion not information. I had some initial misgivings about the structure of the Oireachtas Joint Health Committee session last week. We were charged with the task of hearing testimony and preparing a report for the Health Minister regarding legislation for abortion in Ireland. The three-day hearings would … Continue reading

Commission of Investigation Report into the Catholic Diocese of Cloyne

I will put my cards on the table. I was raised a Catholic, I served as an altar boy and I was a member of the Legion of Mary. I received a wonderful education from the Sisters of St. Joseph in New York, the Irish Christian Brothers and Carmelite priests. I never once encountered anything … Continue reading

Residential Institutions (Redress) Bill

Let us consider the specifics of this legislation. I echo the words of my colleague, Senator Cullinane, in that I wonder whether this is the right week or point in history for us to even begin to give the appearance of putting a time limit on the activities of a very necessary social function. The … Continue reading

Religious orders should pay the price of abuse by handing over their hospitals

Published in the Sunday Independent on 7th June, 2009 While they are no longer seen on the wards, the sisters have not gone away. In the aftermath of the institutional abuse revelations, there have been calls both for a re-visitation of the original deal between the Government and the religious congregations (so lenient in its … Continue reading

How much have we really learned from the suffering of the children?

Published in the Sunday Indpendent on 24th May, 2009 The lessons of the past week’s awful tales still need to be taken on board in at least one area. LIKE many Irish people of my generation who received often excellent and generally compassionate educations courtesy of the Catholic religious orders, I was perplexed, saddened and … Continue reading

Traditional tribalism means we always hang with our own

Published in the Sunday Independent on 6th January, 2008 We are a nation of few ideals served by two main parties with practically identical ideologies, writes John Crown Deputy Martin Mansergh’s recent “unattributed re-iteration” of the famous Benjamin Franklin line (originally uttered by that great American patriot and polymath after he and his revolutionary colleagues … Continue reading