“As late as the 1930s, the fear of smallpox still haunted Ireland, and yet many people refused to vaccinate, by then a legal requirement.” Photograph: iStock

It seems that when writing about the poet Antoine Ó Raifteirí last week, I made the common mistake of assuming one of his most famous verses to have b(...)

 Miriam Kasztura  from Switzerland and Alice Leahy from Dublin, both centre, with  Dr Joan McCarthy of UCC and Dr Dolores Dooley, formerly with UCC’s philosophy department.

Homelessness campaigner Alice Leahy has received an international human rights award for her work over four decades in assisting the homeless and roug(...)

 Coombe hospital: the bishops have no say in any maternity hospital in the State. None are run by the church. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Agitation over the Catholic bishops Code of Ethical Standards for Healthcare in recent weeks was greatly exaggerated. Relevant healthcare facilities (...)

Sinéad Tarmey, Wicklow Hospice, and Therese Tyrrell with  photographs of her late sisters Nora and Bernie

1) A night of “music and fun” is planned for Brooklodge Hotel, Aughrim, on Sunday (May 20th) in aid of Wicklow Hospice. The event is organised by Ther(...)

The chairman of St Vincent’s Hospital has  dismissed as sensational the “tale of nuns attempting to control Irish maternity services”. However, history shows that ethos affects treatment. File photograph:  Dave Meehan

The Institute of Obstetricians has expressed concern that St Vincent’s hospital, which is owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity, will govern the N(...)

Cardinal Seán Brady, who launched the   Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults, an adaptation of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults.    Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The Irish Catholic Catechism for Adults was launched by Cardinal Seán Brady at Maynooth yesterday. Designed to complement the Catechism of the Catho(...)

‘It is important to remember senior religious who have given and continue to give tremendous service to the poor and needy, such as Pope Francis, Venerable Nano Nagle, Venerable Catherine McAuley, Br Kevin Crowley and Sr Stanislaus Kennedy (above). Photograph: Cyril Byrne

He looked astonished at an elderly religious sister nurse dressing the gaping wounds of a poor leprosy patient. “I wouldn’t do that for all the(...)

The Mater: where the sisters stood up to the Black and Tans. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Sr Eugene Nolan has written a fascinating history of the Mater hospital, Caring for the Nation, published by Gill & Macmillan. She describes tense(...)

Sr Monica, Sr Jacinta, Sr Veronica and Sr Kelly Francis of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal with Fr Joe Campbell of St Mary’s parish, Drogheda. Photo: Colin Bell/pressphotos.ie

The story of Christianity in Ireland appears to be coming full circle, at least in its Roman Catholic manifestation. Four nuns, three of them children(...)

The exterior of the now derelict Sisters of Our Lady of Charity Magdalene laundry on Sean McDermott St in Dublin. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

The four religious congregations that have refused to contribute to the compensation fund for residents of their former Magdalene laundries had combin(...)