Memories of relics to be preserved
Don Mullan, author of Eye- witness: Bloody Sunday and The Dublin and Monaghan Bombing, is to write a book on the recent visit to Ireland of the relics of St Therese of Lisieux.
It will be published by Wolfhound Press at Christmas and will recount the experiences of ordinary Irish people of the event. Also included will be their perceptions as to what it means for Ireland now and the Catholic Church.
Describing the visit, which drew an estimated three million people, as "a quiet uprising of the faithful and those who had fallen away from the church", Mr Mullan said yesterday he believed it represented something historic, but how was not clear.
A devoted follower of the saint, he said he was attracted to her because her life was one of struggle "with ill-health when she was young, then her awkwardness as a teenager - like my own daughter now - and her growing into a beautiful young woman who struggled within herself to find meaning".
In 1975, while a clerical student (which he was for three years), he visited Lisieux with his "soul mate", Seanie McLaughlin, who was deeply affected by the experience. Mr McLaughlin, a footballer with Dundalk, was killed on August 22nd, 1976.
August 22nd next is the deadline for people wishing to send him their experiences or impressions of the event. The book will be dedicated to Mr McLaughlin.
Mr Mullan advises people not to worry about "the writing".
Contributions can be sent by fax to Mr Mullan on 014559667 or to the e-mail address email@example.com