Pope John Paul II about to board an Aer Lingus plane following his visit to Ireland in 1979. File photograph: Dermot O’Shea

A few years ago, Eugene O’Brien and I started work on a book of essays entitled Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism: From Galway to Cloyn(...)

Cork and Limerick in action in the Munster senior hurling final of 2014 in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

On the weekend of its reopening it’s not widely appreciated that Páirc Uí Chaoimh created Cork as a modern hurling venue for the county during the pas(...)

Soothing tributes flowed from the pens of Irish bishops and others when former bishop Eamonn Casey (above) and cardinal Desmond Connell died. Photograph: Frank Miller

Never speak ill of the dead? Soothing tributes flowed from the pens of Irish bishops and others when first cardinal Desmond Connell and then former bi(...)

Tipperary’s Michael Cleary breaks through the challenges of Clare brothers Frank and Brian Lohan in the All-Ireland final of 1997. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh.

Twenty years ago hurling was in a state of flux. The calendar-year league was introduced as well as the championship change that allowed beaten provin(...)

Cardinal Desmond Connell: March 24th, 1926 –  February 21st, 2017

Cardinal Desmond Connell, who has died aged 90, was a surprise appointment to the Archbishopric of Dublin in 1988 but he went on to become the first A(...)

Babette’s Feast: a film about the  generosity and redemptive power of a young  woman in a 19th century rural community who   serves a sumptuous feast to the quarrelsome, religiously narrow-minded villagers

When Pope Francis recently arranged for a number of Rome’s homeless people to be given the best seats at his weekly Mass it was no doubt to remind us (...)

The visit of Pope Francis to Ireland in 2018 is to be welcomed; warmly so. It will be low key, even modest, by comparison with that of Pope John Paul (...)

A prison photograph of Michael Cleary from the General Prisons Board Penal File. Photograph: National Archives

When Johanna Burke went to pay her cousin Bridget Cleary a visit, she found the 26-year-old being held down and force-fed a concoction of herbs and mi(...)

Censured priest Fr Brian D’Arcy described his reaction on finding out that his friend Fr Michael Cleary had two children as one of absolute shock. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Censured priest Fr Brian D’Arcy has defended Fr Michael Cleary and Bishop Eamon Casey, who fathered children, as “loving” in their relationships with (...)

Tony Walsh (pictured) was described in the Murphy report as ‘the most notorious child sexual abuser’ to have come to its attention. ‘It is likely that he has abused hundreds of children,’ it said. On Tuesday, he was jailed for seven and half years for raping a boy three times, once with a crucifix. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Tony Walsh was described in the Murphy report as “the most notorious child sexual abuser” to have come to its attention. “It is likely that he has abu(...)