Fr Martin Cosgrove saying Mass in an empty Church of the Annunciation Catholic Church in Rathfarnham, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/ EPA

Growing realisation in church that it was 'not really missed' during lockdown, says Bishop

 Mourners follow the funeral cortege of Tom Hickey outside Eadestown Parish Church in Co Kildare. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Son ‘overwhelmed’ by depth of feeling towards actor who died last week

Lives Lost: Sean Doyle: He loved life on the farm and worked hard all his life.

A dedicated family man, Sean was ‘precious to all of us and all his extended family’

Jean Sherlock

She was the ‘glue’ that bound her family and will be missed by many around Templeogue

Public relations officer for the Irish Association of Funeral Directors Mary Cunniffe:‘People have left their messages’ when it comes to condolences. Photograph: The Irish Times.

‘We had to act almost immediately to keep people safe ... to keep the general public safe’

Bryan and Lisa Gallagher, who live in Letterkenny, spent seven years building this house on Arranmore island off the Co Donegal coast, which is now being raffled with 5 per cent of the proceeds going to Pieta House.

Pieta House to get 5% of proceeds from raffle of house on Arranmore island, Co Donegal

One of Tom Hickey’s last appearances was in a performance of Beckett’s poems, directed by Alan Gilsenan. File photograph: The Irish Times

‘In this country, where most of the population are play-actors ... it’s bound to yield players’

Michael D Higgins and actor Tom Hickey at Liberty Hall, Dublin, November 2005. File photograph: Frank Miller

President Michael D Higgins leads tributes to ‘an artist of total commitment’

In a Word...

Belvedere College, Dublin. Fr Joseph Marmion ‘abused boys sexually, emotionally and physically while he was on the teaching staff’ there in the 1970s, the Jesuits said. File image: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fr Joseph Marmion ‘abused boys sexually, emotionally and physically’ at the Dublin school in the 1970s

Bessborough in Cork city. Photograph: Provision

Known about 800 bodies in Tuam since 2017 and no progress in identifying the children

Sean O’Leary, a student of English literature and philosophy, with  his girlfriend Lauren McCann and friends, after he was  awarded a Trinity scholarship following an  announcement in the college. Photograph: Paul Sharp/Sharppix

TCD service for fellows and scholars hears how ‘metrics of commercial world’ have become embedded in colleges

In a Word... Family

Not only are we McGarrys multiplying apace but we have longevity, too. Be nice to us

In a Word . . . Dog

Scooping poop is a magnificent example of civic responsibility, but it’s not for me

In a Word...


In a Word . . .

. . . April

Fr PJ Hughes is parish priest of Mullahoran and Loughduff in Co Cavan. File photograph

Parish priest Fr PJ Hughes says gardaí blocked roads to church

Archbishop Eamon Martin. Photograph: Tom Honan

Archbishops asks for compassion and mercy by sharing it with Independent Commission

Elizabeth ‘Lillie’ Byrne, from Co Kildare, lived all her life in Celbridge.

Kildare native, who died two days after her 92nd birthday, is recalled as a ‘great mother’

A brief ‘shemozzle’ during the Kilkenny SHC semi-final last September between Dicksboro and O’Loughlin Gaels. A ‘shemozzle’ is a level below ‘all hell breaking loose’. Photograph: Inpho

This week’s offering comes with a sincere health warning for sensitive souls

Bishop of Achonry Paul Dempsey said: “Many have found this deeply offensive. As a result some feel they are not welcome and have no place in the Catholic Church.” Photograph: Newbridge Catholic Parish

‘At best it is experienced as cold and distant, at worst hurtful and offensive,’ says Bishop of Achonry Paul Dempsey

The proportion of young adults with raised levels of depressive symptoms due to the pandemic have risen from 27% to 48%. File photograph: Getty

Children and young adults report low mood and consumption of ‘junk food and sweets’

Online gambling in Ireland has grown during the Covid-19 pandemic as people have had to move away from bricks and mortar betting , a study has concluded. File image: iStock.

Report estimates industry worth up to €8bn in Ireland a year when lotteries taken into account

Fr PJ Hughes: ‘I was watching the Late Late Show on Wednesday night, St Patrick’s night, and I thought there were more than 10 people in the studio that night. They were there for two hours.’

‘Why should I pay a fine for believing in God and celebrating the sacrament,’ says Fr Hughes

Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe: ‘Planning for the future will take time, creativity and an openness to change.’ Photograph: iStock

Decline in mass attendance and income will 'greatly accelerate', Bishop of Killaloe says

Fr Gerry O’Connor of the Association of Catholic Priests: ‘The beauty of a blessing is that it recognises no barriers and no distance.’ Photograph: iStock

‘Our gay brothers and sisters will always be welcome,’ says Dublin parish priest

Former minister and Kerry footballer Jimmy Deenihan is pictured during a 2019 visit to Nyaminyagwe village in Bugiri District, Uganda. Irish charity Goal has helped to build a water borehole to provide the  community with access to clean water.

Jimmy Deenihan raised funds for Goal water project after being ‘shocked’ during 2019 visit

A woman passes a construction site in Dublin’s city centre. Around 60 per cent of sites are currently shut. Photograph: PA

Construction industry says rates of transmission in sites still open are very low

St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School in Dublin features children from third class upwards, and their day includes rehearsals and singing during services in the cathedral. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir School offering ‘first-class musical education’ to new recruits

Where would we be without it? At each other’s throats, most likely

Tim Hazlewood said he blessed a piece of shamrock last week, so why wouldn’t he bless the union of a loving couple? Photograph: iStock

‘If Christ was with us now, he would do the caring, the loving thing’

Mary McAleese spoke of the document’s ‘unbearably vicious language which can only have brought more heartache to our gay children and to us their families’. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Document on same-sex blessings shows that Pope Francis ‘toes the old hard line’

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell: Continued restrictions limiting funeral attendances to just 10 mourners is ‘harsh and unfair’

Religious worship generally has a ‘clear human priority’ over other activities

Fr Brendan Hoban: ‘I suspect that priests will continue to use their own personal initiative in responding to the needs of LGBTQ Catholics at parish level.’ Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

Church ‘cannot have the power to bless unions’ – Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Covid-19 was one of the lowest causes of deaths in the third quarter of 2020, according to CSO figures

Birth, death and marriage rates lower overall than for equivalent period in 2019, CSO reports

The Dying with Dignity  Bill allows for voluntary euthanasia and assisted dying. Photograph: iStock

Clerics call on Catholics to ask their elected representatives to reject legislation entirely

‘I earnestly appeal to people to find alternative ways to offer condolences at this time of pandemic,’ says bishop. Photograph: iStock

Catholic bishop says people not wearing masks and large gatherings is worrying

A lockdown knock-down: I have paid the price of living dangerously

Lives Lost: Anna O’Faherty from Donegal, 1929-2021.

‘She was a fantastic mother ... immensely proud of anything we achieved’

Don’t get me started on the words ‘organic’ or ‘fulsome’

The RTÉ Investigates programme included interviews with 10 people who had been illegally adopted and who had believed until recently that their adoptive parents were their biological parents

‘Really upset that a mother was pursued for money in the manner shown’ on programme

Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell: ‘Illegal adoptions, whenever they take place, are just that: illegal, and any individual involved in the unofficial alteration of a birth certificate has committed a serious crime.’ Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Full Government inquiry into State’s adoption practices looking increasingly likely

Prof Éamon de Valera in 1958

RTÉ programme includes details of gynaecologist’s involvement in four cases

Belvedere College, Dublin. Fr Joseph Marmion ‘abused boys sexually, emotionally and physically while he was on the teaching staff’ there in the   1970s, the Jesuits said. File image: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Fr Joseph Marmion also taught at Crescent College Limerick and Clongowes Wood College

In a word ... Obsession

I have no peace until I get rid of the thread-like pieces. It has become a contest

Fr Enda McDonagh was lauded by clerical colleagues for his warmth and humility. File photograph: The Irish Times

‘A colossus on Irish theological landscape,’ says Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary

Samantha Power: to lead presentation of the overall ‘Press Photographer of the Year’ award.   Photograph: Stephen Kelleghan

Annual awards ceremony on live stream from Dublin city centre on Friday evening

Ireland’s Catholic bishops have urged everyone to support the vaccination programmes

Vaccines should be given ‘as a priority’ to carers, chaplains, and priests at funerals

Lives Lost: Marie Farrell from Dublin, 1941-2021.

Marie lived her life, full of love and respect for anybody she met

Head of the commission Judge Yvonne Murphy: ‘The report is there, it is not going to be revised. What would they possibly ask the commission to do – redo the report?’ Photograph: Eric Luke

Investigative body says it would be legally and morally wrong to retain testimony

 Eamon Martin the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland  has urged the Taoiseach  to consider increasing the number of bereaved allowed to attend funerals. Photograph: PA

Association has ‘significant misgivings about re-opening churches for Easter ceremonies’

Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman says he can understand the ‘very real anger’ of the survivors unhappy about the destruction of the recordings. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

O’Gorman says disaster recovery tapes may contain the recordings of 549 survivors

I find it much easier to handle criticism and abuse, which is just as well

Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergency expert,  was speaking after receiving Trócaire’s annual Romero prize. Photograph: EPA

Irish people must give Government and EU political permission to share few vaccines

Lives Lost: Patricia (Patsy) O’Mahony 1929-2021

Patricia had great pride in her family roots, and a great love in music and culture

Trócaire says ‘the number of boxes sent to each parish has been reduced by up to 50 per cent’ this year. File photograph: Kim Haughton

Virus curtails annual Lenten appeal that usually raises €8 million for overseas work

Church of Ireland Archbishop Michael Jackson of Dublin is among the signatories calling ‘for justice, to investigate these crimes, hold those responsible to account’. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Treatment of ethnic minority ‘one of most egregious human tragedies since Holocaust’

 The Dying with Dignity group – Tom Curran, Vicky Phelan, Gino Kenny TD and Gail O’Rorke – campaigning outside Leinster House in September 2020. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Clinicians tell committee procedure can be introduced in ‘safe and fair manner’

Former president of Ireland Mary McAleese: ‘Even people whose knowledge of the Catholic Church is negligible are aware of its views on abortion.’ File photograph: The Irish Times

Former president claims the church is failing those who die unbaptised before or at birth

With Catholic priests unable to mark people’s foreheads with ashes this Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent due to Covid-19 restrictions, one diocese is offering advice on how to do so at home. File photograph: iStock.

Archbishop says some parishes sending ash to homes and notes Vatican call to sprinkle on head

My late father used to advise: ‘Don’t ever trust a man who doesn’t take a drink’

The Irish Emergency Alliance says it can save on costs by sharing resources during appeals.

Move set ‘to reduce costs’ and give the Irish public central fund to which they can donate

In a Word ... Wisdom

Our pandemic woes are real, but Grandma Tess could provide welcome perspective

Archbishop Dermot Farrell. Photograph: Alan Betson

Future of Catholic Church ‘must be different’, and active participation of laity is ‘essential’, says Dermot Farrell

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home in Galway. Like the Magdalene inquiry, the commission did not support a preferred narrative and this seems to be at the root of much of the criticism. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Commissions are imperfect mechanisms devised to provide some justice and redress

The archbishop ‘faced many challenges in administration and necessary changes’, the President said. Photograph: The Irish Times/Dara Mac Dónaill

‘We owe him a lot’: Political leaders, religious figures and abuse survivors pay tribute

 Archbishop Diarmuid Martin  represented the Holy See at major international UN conferences, as well as at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on debt reduction.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

From Cabinteely curate to Archbishop of Dublin

Retiring in the north inner city parish of Aughrim Street, Diarmuid Martin plans to rest and read for now: ‘I could write my memoirs but they’d probably be banned,’ he says, with a smile. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Interview: ‘My worst day came early on, when I met the parents of a victim. That shattered me’

In a Word...


A light installation, #everynamecounts, at the French embassy in Berlin ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th. Photograph:  Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

Micheál Martin says technology providing ‘new opportunities for hate’ at Holocaust event

Church of Ireland Primate and Archbishop of Armagh John McDowell said they had  decided that in-person gatherings should remain suspended with the exception of weddings, funerals, as permitted by regulations. Photograph: iStock

Parishes encouraged to continue broadcasting services online, Archbishop says

In a Word...


Palestinian medical workers check a patient at the Covid-19 section of Dura hospital in the West Bank. Photograph: Abed Al Hashlamoun/ EPA

Two Irish bishops join delegation seeking Palestinian access to Covid vaccines

Archbishop of Cashel and Emly Kieran O’Reilly. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Kieran O’Reilly says abuses disclosed in mother and baby homes report ‘total antithesis of the faith we claim to profess’

St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin has offered its services as a mass vaccination centre. Photograph: iStock

St Patrick’s Cathedral agrees as few large buildings available in Liberties area

Graves of those who died at    the Bethany home, in Mount Jerome Cemetery. Photograph: Alan Betson

Irish Church Missions rejects assertion it was ‘prominent in the running’ of Bethany home

London’s Piccadilly Circus in the 1950s.  When Mary arrived in the city from rural Co Roscommon, pregnant and with her fiance, it was the first time either had ever been abroad. He soon left her and her unborn son to fend for themselves. Photograph: iStock.

Pregnant woman pleaded with God to take her, but he too seemed to have abandoned her

In a Word.....

.....word. Patsy McGarry

The funeral service took place at Zion parish church in Dublin’s Rathgar where Bishop Roy Warke had once been rector. Photograph: David Sleator

Roy Warke was a former Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross

A grave for children who died in the Bethany Home in Dublin. Church of Ireland primate Archbishop John McDowell and Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson said the women and children who passed through the homes ‘deserved much better’. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Women and children ‘stigmatised’ and ‘endangered’ by ‘culture of hypocrisy and judgment’

Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Tipperary, which was a mother and baby home operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary from 1930 to 1970. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Roderic O’Gorman seeks meeting with Catholic and Church of Ireland leaders amid report

Roy Warke, former bishop of Cork. Photograph: David Sleator

He gave ‘with such generosity of spirit’ to the life of the Church of Ireland, says archbishop

Judge Yvonne Murphy chaired the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation.  Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Report from body states that its conclusions ‘may not accord with prevailing narrative’

Carmel Larkin, a survivor of the Tuam mother and baby home, with a letter of apology from the Bon Secour order, at a shrine erected in memory of children buried at the site of the former home. Photograph: Paul Faith/Getty Images

Catholic archbishops and bishops express shame and sorrow at report findings

The Tuam mother and baby home in Galway. Photograph: Tuam Home Graveyard Committee/PA Wire

Homes provided a refuge, however harsh, when there was nowhere else for the women to go

Catherine Corless watches Taoiseach Micheál Martin speaking during the live feed of the report into the mother and baby homes, at her home near Tuam on Tuesday.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Investigation tells of cruelty, emotional abuse and soaring infant death rates

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: ‘Church-run institutions should be places where people experience the warm embrace of Jesus Christ, particularly vulnerable people, not harshness, judgementalism and disrespect.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

‘They betrayed vulnerable women, themselves, their calling and the caring message of Jesus Christ’ – Archbishop

The Tuam mother and baby home in Galway. Photograph:  Tuam Home Graveyard Committee/PA Wire

Main cause of infant death in Tuam was prematurity and respiratory infections

The Regina Coeli home on Morningstar Avenue off North Brunswick Street in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Commission investigated 14 mother and baby homes and four sample county homes

The local authority-owned homes, including Tuam, had “appalling physical conditions”, the report found. File photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Despite local authorities having powers ‘no mother and baby home was ever prosecuted’

 Undated photograph of the Tuam mother and baby home in Co Galway. Photograph: Tuam Home Graveyard Committee/PA Wire

Commission finds 14 mothers discharged directly to laundry in line with council policy

 The Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Tipperary. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Three-quarters of all children born in or admitted to Bessborough in 1943 died in infancy

Children who had spent time in Sean Ross in Co Tipperary, as well as a number of other homes should be eligible for compensation, the report found. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Recommendations: Compensation should be paid to some women who were in the homes

An undated photograph of the Tuam mother and baby home in Galway. Photograph: Tuam Home Graveyard Committee/PA Wire

Irish marriage rate was once lowest in western world, mother and baby homes commission says

The site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home in Co  Galway. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Nearly 56,000 unmarried mothers were in 18 institutions over 76 years investigated by Mother and Baby Homes Commission

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