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Ireland’s Abortion Referendum: My Contributions in the Washington Post & New York Times

The referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution in the Republic of Ireland has now become history. The Eighth Amendment banned abortion in almost all circumstances. But Friday’s referendum resulted in a resounding vote to overturn the amendment, opening up the way for more liberal abortion legislation to be enacted later this year. […]

Constitutional Pasts and Futures 20 Years after the Good Friday Agreement: 8 May in Dublin

I will be taking part in a one-day conference on ‘Constitutional Pasts and Futures: Northern Ireland and the British Irish Relationship Twenty Years after the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement’ on Tuesday 8 May at the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin. At 10.30 am, there is a keynote address by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on […]

The Apocalypse for Religion – at Peter Rollins’ Wake Festival

Today I had the privilege of participating in Wake, an annual boutique festival in Belfast, which is curated by Peter Rollins. It’s always a treat to catch up on Pete’s latest work, and to meet the people who come from afar to experience Belfast and explore ideas together. While the residential festival is full, there […]

Fr Gerry Reynolds and the Changing Role of the Catholic Media, 1969-1975

Next week I am part of a panel on ‘Christian Modernities in Britain and Ireland in the 20th Century,’ at the European Social Science History Conference at Queen’s University, Belfast. I’ll be presenting a paper on ‘The Communications Revolution in Ireland and the Changing Role of the Catholic Media: Fr Gerry Reynolds and Intercom, 1969-1975.’ […]

Bowdoin Report on How Some (But Only Some) Church Leaders Helped Build Peace in Northern Ireland

There is a report on the Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine, USA) webpage about a public lecture I gave there last month, ‘How Some (But Only Some) Church Leaders Helped Build Peace in Northern Ireland.’ Bowdoin College is the alma mater of Senator George J Mitchell, who chaired the peace talks that produced the 1998 Good […]

Clerical Voices from Irish Catholicism on Trial – Flannery, Hederman & Claffey

Last week’s conference on ‘Irish Catholicism on Trial’ at the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, in Dublin provided a platform for a variety of voices. Among them was a panel of ‘clerical voices,’ whose critiques of the Irish Catholic Church provided something of an insider perspective. Fr Tony Flannery, the Redemptorist priest and co-founder of the […]

How Religion Still Matters in a Post-Catholic Ireland – Text of Keynote

Last week I had the opportunity to give a keynote address at a conference on ‘Irish Catholicism on Trial,’ a multidisciplinary event at the Institute of Technology, Tallaght. The title of my lecture was ‘Understanding Post-Catholic Ireland: Does Religion Still Matter?’ The talk drew on my most recent book, Transforming Post-Catholic Ireland. You can read the full text […]

Fr Patrick Devine on Conflict Transformation in Eastern Africa

This week (22 March), the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice hosted Fr Patrick Devine for a lecture on “Inter-Ethnic Conflict Transformation Methods: Applications in Eastern Africa.” Fr Devine is the founder of the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation in Nairobi, Kenya, an inter-religious organization pioneering conflict transformation […]

Reflection on Up Standing: Stories of Courage from Northern Ireland

Last night I took part in an event, ‘The Past is a Moving Picture: Screening of the film Up Standing: Stories of Courage from Northern Ireland,’ in Imagine: the Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics. I was asked for a short reflection on the film, which I’ve reproduced below. While the most powerful part of the night was […]