‘Should we be buying from Amazon rather than working to keep a place like Nenagh alive?’
Unthinkable: Fr Sean McDonagh is increasingly worried about the power of big tech
Fr Sean McDonagh: ‘I am 77 on my next birthday and I ask myself will I end up in some care home where I am being taken up out of bed by a robot each morning?’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
When Columban priest Fr Sean McDonagh was working as a missionary in the Philippines in the 1970s phoning his mother in Ireland was a two-day job. He would have to take a circuitous bus journey from the remote island community where he lived to the nearest city where an international telephone exchange offered hope of a brief, crackly conversation before he’d set off on the return home.
He recalled seeing his first mobile phone in Hong Kong a decade later: “The device looked like a large Bord na Móna turf briquette, and the battery, which was huge, lasted for less than an hour.”