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Religion Sexuality

Maynooth sex scandal – Archbishop pulls out

maynooth seminary

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has had enough of all these sexual shenanigans in the National Seminary at Maynooth.

He’s pulling his students out and sending them to the Irish College in Rome where he hopes they’ll get greater exposure to cosmopolitan European culture and they won’t be shagging each other.

Who could blame him? If Maynooth wasn’t good enough for Ireland’s first Cardinal, Paul Cullen, nearly 200 years ago, why should it be good enough for Diarmuid Martin’s vulnerable young protegés? Admittedly, of course, Cullen’s father had a different reason for sending his lad to Rome. Hugh Cullen wasn’t letting any son of his attend a Catholic seminary provided by the perfidious English oppressors whereas Diarmuid Martin is more concerned about The Gay.

That’s right. I said Gay.

Imagine.

There’s a seminary full of men, sequestered away in a monastic environment and some of them turn out to be  gay.

Not only that, but some of them turn out to be sexually active.

Who knew?

One way or the other, Archbishop Martin is worried and to be fair to him, his concerns are probably not based on the fact that the activity is homosexual. That’s more or less a given, since  it would be hard to see how anyone would engage in heterosexual activity in a place where there are no women.

I know. It  doesn’t have to be heterosexual. You could point out that there are sheep in Kildare and no doubt the occasional frog but from what he said, Martin seems to be more troubled by what he perceives as an atmosphere of coercion. Martin thinks Maynooth is a place full of abusers preying on emotionally-vulnerable young men.

Who could have imagined that the seminary churning out Ireland’s priests would be sexually abusive, especially when you consider how balanced and emotionally complete Ireland’s priests have proven themselves over the centuries? It’s astonishing.

But apart from the sexual aggression, Martin also seems to be worried about the shagging. By the sound of things, the lads in Maynooth are getting laid like jack-rabbits using social media, and who could blame them? Their final vows will include not only celibacy but also chastity, so why not make hay while they can?

Te morituri salutant.

Martin doesn’t think his priestlings should be getting laid and of course, he’s the boss. But given the consequences of that policy over the centuries, perhaps he’d be better off just saying nothing. Let them get on with it. Let them use dating websites, gay or straight and who knows? He might even end up with emotionally well-adjusted priests and what a difference that would be, although of course it’s too late to change anything. The damage was done a long time ago and the Catholic church has already lost the hearts and minds it needed to survive.

Now, it’s true that Diarmuid only has three seminarians to educate this year when in times past his predecessors might have had dozens. That’s why he was sending them to Maynooth: Clonliffe College closed years ago due to lack of interest but let’s not focus on numbers.

Diarmuid Martin must be feeling pretty despondent. The institution he devoted his life to no longer enjoys the confidence of the general public and here he is, the Archbishop of Dublin, saying that he has no confidence in the national seminary.

Nobody trusts the clergy, and the top cleric doesn’t trust the place that makes the priests.

Artificial seminarians, so to speak.

That leaves him in a difficult position, wouldn’t you say?

Categories
Sexuality

Marriage Equality Signed Into Law

Marriage Equality

 

Now that the Marriage Equality Act 2015 has been enacted into law, I can finally admit something.

I never thought it would happen.

Oh me of little faith! How badly I misjudged the mood of the Irish people and how proud I feel of them today that the campaign to give equality to our brothers and our sisters has borne fruit. If you had asked me a year ago whether Ireland would legalise same-sex marriage, I would have scoffed at the idea  because I thought Ireland was so entrenched in old ideas that it would never drag itself out of the mud, and yet that was an entirely wrong perception.

I was wrong, though not perhaps as wrong as the authoritarian rump that emerged to resist the campaign for equality, for this was a movement based on a deeply flawed assumption, rooted in the 1950s, that the people of Ireland would somehow bow the head to a cadre of wealthy, privileged ideologues.

And they were wrong.

Ireland was in no mood to be told what to do by people with no popular mandate. Ireland had moved on from the days when a crowd of self-appointed demagogues could successfully dictate the popular vote. This was no longer the Ireland of John Charles McQuaid and that fact came as a shock to the people styling themselves Mothers and Fathers Matter, the Iona Institute and assorted other manifestations of Opus Dei.

There’s no other way to say this, so let’s say it as it was. These groups were reduced to peddling plain lies in their desperation to deprive their fellow citizens of equality. They grasped at every dishonest straw they could reach, and in the process they achieved two results.

First, they debunked the belief that they might be any sort of Christians, and second they undermined the notion that the people of Ireland had any respect for their hateful message.

At one bound they were free of support.

But enough of these marginal pressure groups. No doubt they’ll pop up again in future arguments, but today is a day for people to celebrate equality as citizens before the law.  Today is a day when our brothers and our sisters can plan their legal weddings with all the travails attendant on such a journey, free of the fear that religious ideologues might try to stop them.

Let’s celebrate marriage equality for our brothers and our sisters, and let’s wish them every good fortune.

Today, Ireland grew up just a little bit more.

 

 

Categories
Religion Sexuality

Pope Francis meets Kim Davis

Pope Francis

 

__________________________________________________________________

What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.

Elegantly, and always to the point, Francis Bacon went right to the kernel of the matter in his essay Of Truth, showing up the shallowness and hypocrisy of a Roman prefect who should have known better.

More recently, good Pope Francis spoke in a similar tone to the reviled Pilate when he asked prettily, Who am I to judge?

That seems like a straightforward rhetorical question not requiring an answer until you remind yourself that this Pope is a Jesuit.

On the face of it, the pontiff has told us in his own words that he doesn’t consider himself fit to judge, but perhaps he didn’t. Perhaps he was employing that technique of clerical thinking we became so familiar with during the height of the Irish child-abuse scandal: mental reservation.

Perhaps he mentally reserved his reply to a question that appears plainly rhetorical, and perhaps he answered himself silently.

Who am I to judge?

The Pope. That’s who I am. The Pope!

The United States constitution imposes a very clear separation between church and state, but Kim Davis sought to impose her own Christian law over and above the law of the land by refusing to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples in defiance of a Supreme Court judgement.

Of course, in some countries public officials obey their clerics, imposing religious rules as the law of the land and when those countries are Muslim, we call it Sharia.  But when the majority population happens to be Christian, we call it following our conscience.

What to make of the four-times-married Kim Davis? Clearly, her Christian principles didn’t prevent her from divorcing three times, but they kick in good and strong when it comes to gays getting married. Call it what it is: plain old-fashioned homophobia.

When Pope Francis sought a secret meeting with the person who has become the face of modern bigotry in the USA, he offered comfort to a deeply intolerant strain of society, a tendency that spends every waking hour judging other people.

The non-judgemental Pope prayed with this woman who presumes to judge her fellow man and woman in direct violation of the constitution she swore (on a bible) to uphold. He gave her a set of rosary beads and urged her to be strong. Or, to put it more plainly, to keep denying gay people their constitutional rights.

He can’t have it every way, this affable, smiling Pope. By offering comfort to a bigot and a homophobe, the Pope was judging, and doing it harshly.

The smile, it seems, was only there to mask the dark intent behind it, just as other clerics have used an affable exterior to set a child’s fears at ease. It appears the Pope has been grooming us.

Bacon, as ever, put it best.

There is no vice, that doth so cover a man with shame, as to be found false and perfidious.

Categories
Sexuality

Conversations with paedophiles

Sean Moncrieff had a remarkable interview with a paedophile today on Newstalk.

Now, if you know me at all, you’ll be aware that my views on kiddie fiddlers are to the right of Hitler.  I’d feed the fuckers feet first into the gearbox of a fast-running John Deere tractor, and yet, Moncrieff’s show gave me pause.

He spoke to a man who identified himself as a paedophile, which immediately got me bristling, but then it turned out that this person was not a child abuser. This man said he was sexually attracted to children but that he had never acted on his urges and never would.

I find that difficult as a parent and as a human being. When my children were small, I would probably have wanted to kill anyone who harboured such urges, even if they had never acted upon them, but on the other hand, the angry urges of a protective father are not a rational basis on which to establish a civilised society, because angry protective fathers would kill almost anything that looks crooked at their beloved children.   It’s a man thing. It’s a hard-wired thing.

What bothered me about the Moncrieff interview was the notion that paedophiles might be hard-wired.

Where do we go with this?

I don’t know, and I’m not advocating any position on it. I’m certainly not defending paedophiles, but if it turns out that one per cent of the population has this tendency, as suggested during the interview, what are we to do with  the one in a hundred who find themselves sexually aroused by our children?

Emotionally, I want to kill them all right now, but we can’t frame law based on my emotions and anyway, we don’t execute  people in a civilised country, so where is this going? Should laws be based on my emotions as a father? Should laws be based on what a person feels, even if they never act on those feelings? Should we imprison people simply for being what they are, even if they never do any harm, and if so, should we stop there? Should we start to jail people for being potential thieves or Nazis?

I don’t know.

This isn’t one of those prescriptive articles where I tell you what I think.

Moncrieff asked a very hard question that deserves a reflective response by thinking people.

So what do you think?

 

Categories
Sexuality

Ashley Madison and the New Puritanism

ashley madison

How do you figure out what’s going on in the mind of the person who hacked the Ashley Madison website? Why would anyone want to hack a site for adults having clandestine affairs? Leaving aside the fact that Ashley Madison is a money-making operation, the question remains: whose business is it, apart from aggrieved spouses or partners?

Is it my business? No, it isn’t.

Is it your business? Certainly not.

So what is going on with this individual? Why does he think it’s worthwhile to steal personal data belonging to thousands of people and dump it on the internet like some enraged toddler?

There are only a few possibilities.

He might be a person hurt by a partner’s infidelity.

He might be a friend or relation of somebody hurt by infidelity.

He might be the child of a family damaged by infidelity.

Or he might just be some judgemental cyber-puritan, determined to impose his own view of relationships on the whole world, no matter how much pain he inflicts in the process.

If reports are correct, all the information stolen from Ashley Madison has now been dumped somewhere on the internet, in places known to the usual breathless journalists as the Dark Net, where a digital Yog-Sothoth broods over its infinitely malevolent binary kingdom.  But again, you’d have to ask Why? Given that anyone could set up an Ashley Madison account without asking our permission, precisely what purpose will it serve to indiscriminately dump unreliable, contaminated data on the internet? After all, since so many internet nutcases manage to distort perfectly valid facts to their own ends, what sort of lunatics, bunco artists and blackmailers will take advantage of this bonanza?

This is about punishing people for having imperfect lives, unlike presumably the life of the individual behind the hack.

Wikileaks it ain’t. Not so much Julian Assange as Beavis and Butthead.

 

Categories
Sexuality Uncategorized

Appeals against equality referendum kicked out on the grounds of utter stupidity

Hint.  If you’re going to the High Court, it’s a good idea to arrange your thoughts so that you don’t come across like a complete idiot.

Yes?

Wouldn’t that seem to be a basic precaution? Do not be a fool.

It seems obvious, and yet so many lay litigants overlook this simple basic point. If you are an idiot with no logical arguments, you will be told to fuck off and you will be liable for all costs. Even if you claim that your point is in the public interest, you will be stuck for all the costs, if the judge thinks you’ve been talking bullshit.

That might seem tough, but it’s what happened today after two lay litigants took cases to the High Court, opposing the decision of the Irish people in the Marriage Equality referendum.

The first of them, Mr Walshe from Clare, was careful to point out that he wasn’t anti-gay, even though his case affected nobody else and only had the effect of depriving gay people of their rights.  Fair enough.  Definitely not anti-gay, then.

Mr Walshe made the point that public money was used to pay for Yes posters. He personally noticed more Yes posters than No posters in his local supermarket car-park.  In his opinion, this was evidence that he was being oppressed.

His opinion received short shrift in court, sadly for him.

Mr Walshe also pointed out that copies of the referendum bill were not available in post offices.  When the judge pointed out that this was not a requirement in the law and that he could have easily checked this before coming to the court, Mr Walshe said that he didn’t have good internet coverage where he lived.

At this point, to his eternal credit the judge didn’t interject to call Mr Walshe a thundering fool.

Meanwhile the other litigant, Mr Lyons, claimed that the question posed to the electorate was incompatible with the Christian preamble to the constitution.

The judge explained, as patiently as he could, that the court had no jurisdiction in regard to the wording of constitutional amendments.

Both cases were kicked out and since neither man had made any significant point in the public interest, the judge found that they were responsible for costs arising from their actions, or to put it another way, they have to pay everyone.

To summarise: two men with no understanding of the law, went to the High Court demanding that their ignorant, uninformed understanding of the constitution should be imposed on the rest of us.  The High Court told them to fuck off and now they have to pay the price of their arrogance.

As it should be.

Put up or shut up.

Categories
Sexuality

Caitlyn Jenner

caitlyn jennerWhen I started all this blogging bullshit in 2006, I was afraid of meeting people out of the internet, because everyone told us they’d turn out to be axe murderers but in reality they turned out to be a diverse and stimulating bunch of people with all manner of interests and concerns.

We met drinking buddies, we met new lovers, we met fellow gardeners. We met sharers of jokes and balancers of bicycles, but we never met a single axe-murderer.

Those were the mad days of the Irish Blog Awards, a very Irish excuse to meet up, get pissed and talk interesting shit with other bizarre heads sharing a broadly similar outlook, and it was during those times that I came across Hangar Queen, the blog of an Irish man living in the United States, who was going through the transition to becoming a woman.

That was a challenge for me, I can’t deny it.  I’d never met a transgendering person before and despite this view I had of myself as a right-on liberal sort, it gave me pause, though not for long.

The first thing that came into my mind was a question. What the fuck business is this of mine?

Isn’t this a private decision for each individual?  Would anyone undertake such a thing lightly?

Of course they wouldn’t, so who was I to have an opinion on it at all?

Tolerance is not a concept I have much respect for because I don’t see what gives me the right to tolerate anyone. Who the hell do I think I am tolerating other people? Tolerance, in my view, is just a variation of oppression.  I have always thought that it’s much better not to care who or what you are.  Why should I tolerate you when I could be indifferent to your skin colour, your sexual orientation, your disability, your ethnicity, your religion or your gender?

Wouldn’t that be far better?

Naturally, it all depends on reciprocation: I’ll be indifferent to your religion as long as you don’t tell me how to run my life.  That way, we all get along just fine.

And so it rested until I had to meet this Hangar Queen in person, in the transgendered flesh, and it took me all of thirty seconds to overcome my ingrained prejudice against these evil trannies when I encountered somebody who wasn’t a Lou Reed Halloween Parade caricature but a warm, kind, intelligent, witty human being that I soon became proud to count as a friend.

I’m still proud to count her as a friend who enriches my life, and I don’t care what gender my friend has.

Why would anyone care?  What on earth is wrong with people like this genitalia-obsessed priest who referred to Caitlyn Jenner as a man dressed up as a whore?

Oh wait. Sorry.  He’s a priest.

The clue is in there somewhere.

Bruce Jenner.   Caitlyn Jenner.

I don’t give a toss.  Why would you?

 

 

 

Categories
Politics Sexuality

Yes

Tomorrow we’ll try to understand what the overwhelming Yes vote means for Ireland.

Today is for celebrating the liberation of our brothers and sisters.

 

marriage equality referendum

 

Categories
Religion Sexuality

Iona Institute warns that straight men might marry each other and not have gay bum-sex if referendum passes

Poe’s Law states as follows:

Without a clear indicator of an author’s intention, it is often impossible to tell the difference between an expression of sincere extremism and a parody of such extremism.

David Quinn is perhaps the greatest satirist Ireland has seen since Jonathan Swift and at the same time the least recognised, which is a true measure of his genius.  Anyone could set up a parody account on Twitter or Facebook, but David took it to a new level by setting up a real-life parody pressure group.  He gave it a company name: Lolek Ltd, and then he gave it a public name, The Iona Institute, a title so gloriously grandiose and absurd that nobody noticed it was a joke.

Crucially, demonstrating a deep understanding of Poe’s Law,  David Quinn avoided the temptation to provide a clear indicator that his work was satire, thus establishing himself as a comic genius, since this is where most satirists fall down. It is very, very hard to do this sort of comedy with a straight face.

Hiding in plain  sight, David succeeded in convincing RTE, the national broadcaster, that his parody company was in fact a real institute with real credibility and real research supporting its views, instead of an in-joke between himself and five of his friends.

Over the years, in its sardonic and knowing way, the Iona Project has exposed the gullibility of journalists and the general public, suggesting one ludicrous proposition after another without anyone ever realising that it was all comedy.  In many ways, Quinn has a great deal in common with Chris Morris of Brass Eye, who managed to convince everyone from Andrew Neil to Peter Tatchell that he was a serious journalist fronting a real news programme.

But of course, all great satirical works must eventually reach their natural end.

It happened to Swift with his modest proposal to cook and eat babies.

It happened to Brass Eye with its Pedophiles programme.

And inevitably, it happened to the Iona Institute when, for reasons only David Quinn can explain, he finally decided enough is enough.  After a massively-entertaining season in which he lampooned the attitudes of homophobes, hate-mongers and the intolerant quasi-fascists that seethe beneath the surface of our little country, Quinn decided to provide Poe’s clear indication that his project was indeed satire, and he did it in such style that we can only stand and applaud.

Commenting on the proposal to allow same-sex marriage, Quinn’s Iona Institute warned that if the Irish public vote Yes, it will lead to straight men marrying each other and not having gay bum-sex.

Hetero marriage Iona

Comic genius sans pareil.  The only satirical equivalent that comes to mind is when Chris Morris suggested that gays can’t join the Navy because they attract torpedoes.

Mr Quinn, we applaud you, though I shed a tear that you have decided to bring down the curtain on this hilarious project.

At the same time, let’s not be too despondent.  The Iona parody might well be over, but we haven’t heard the last of David Quinn.  I predict that his comic genius will find a new way to shout out and it wouldn’t surprise me if he was already working on a new project.

This man is the future of Irish satire.

 

 

Categories
Favourites Religion Sexuality

Father Ted meets Monty Python as Brother Dougal hits Limerick in the fight against the evil gays

Normally when I wake up in the morning, it isn’t entirely an episode of Father Ted and it might not even be completely Monty Python, though at the moment there’s a strong feeling that it might be mostly Game of Thrones.

A man meets a man’s beloved daughter in the market for an early curry.

A man’s daughter goes for intensive hair treatment.

Meanwhile, a man wanders around town, trying not to wear too many faces until a man stumbles across a bunch of lunatics and a man’s mask slips.

irish society for christian civilisation rory o'hanlon father ted

Seven magnificent men, or perhaps a man detects six men and a boy, reciting prayers to the old gods and the new before setting out on a dangerous mission. A man salutes them and then a man goes for a coffee, with cream because after all it is a Saturday.

That’s where Game of Thrones evaporates and our Saturday morning becomes very real, as long as you consider utterly bizarre a form of reality.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, here come a bunch of men in cheap business suits wearing sashes made from recycled Munster flags.

Men are wearing red capes across their suits for no clear reason. Six men and a boy are wearing capes. Six cape-wearing men and a boy in a cape are handing out pamphlets against homosexual marriage.

 

Irish Society for Christian Civilisation

 

 

Irish Society for Christian Civilisation

 

Ah! Now I have you. Marriage should be between a man and a woman from the eighteenth century. That makes perfect sense.

 

Irish Society for Christian Civilisation Rory O'Hanlon

What is this? everyone wonders.

Is this a promotion for today’s clash between Munster and Ulster? Is this a  gesture from Munster in favour of gay rights?  After all, Munster Rugby facilitated a massive table quiz in support of equality only two days ago.

But then it dawns on us. No self-respecting gay man would wear anything as tacky as these people are wearing, even in support of a cause. I wouldn’t wear it myself, for that matter, and I have the dress sense of a Jack Russell. They must be bigots. The B-word. The word that the homophobic fake institutes would try to prevent everyone from using.

Our hackles rise, perhaps unreasonably until we get talking to them and we discover that yes, they really do hate their fellow man and woman.  They really do detest people who don’t fit their template of what constitutes god-given sexuality.

I find myself talking to one of them, who tries to explain that it’s all about the children.

Let’s call him Rory.

I tell Rory it’s not. I tell Rory the referendum is about two people getting married.

Rory tells me marriage is about having children.

I tell him it’s not. I tell him people who can’t have children also get married. Post-menopausal women. Men who have had a vasectomy. People who don’t wish to procreate. I ask him if these marriages are invalid in his eyes.

Rory doesn’t want to know.

I tell him the supreme court has decided a married couple are a family.

He still doesn’t want to to know because this man, as it’s becoming clear, is not interested in facts when he can have his own private fantasy instead.

I ask Rory about the interesting robe he’s wearing and the elaborate clasp he uses to hold it together.

clasp

Is that the emblem of an ancient equestrian order? I ask him.

No, he says.

Are you a front for Opus Dei?

No.

Are you the Order of the Holy Sepulchre?

No, he replies.

Then who exactly are you?

That’s when Rory goes off message and tells me something he shouldn’t.

We’re the Irish Society for Tradition, Family and Property.

Are you? I ask. And how long have you existed?

About fifty years, he replies.

Really? Fifty years?

Yes.

Are you a private company?

No.

No?

No.

Fair enough.

Sharon appears, not by magic but by coincidence since this is Limerick, this is the Market and this is how things happen when lunatic fringe groups try to overwhelm the common decency of Limerick people.  Sharon has her son Pete with her, raised by two mothers and not obviously suffering from having three horns on his head.

Irish Society for Christian Civilisation

This is my son, Sharon tells Rory. He was raised by two women.

Rory recoils.

Look at him, Sharon says.

Rory looks at me.

Look at him, I say.

Rory looks at Sharon.

Look at him, says Sharon.

Rory looks at me.

Look at him, I say.

Eventually, Rory looks at Pete. It’s clear that he has never imagined a real, genuine human being raised by a same-sex couple. Rory seems perturbed.

Rory O Hanlon lectures mother and son

Shake his hand, says Sharon.

Pete appears a little disgusted but he extends his hand and Rory reaches out. This territory seems new to Rory.

Ask him how he is, Sharon says.

Rory says nothing, so Pete explains that he’s just fine, that the two women who raised him did a great job and that he doesn’t understand why Rory is trying to stop his mother being married.

Rory, we all agree later, is the least effective campaigner we ever met. We all agree that Rory is utterly without facts, arguments or even a firm conviction. Everyone is baffled. Why did a man without facts go on a mission to Limerick? Why did he voluntarily get himself eaten alive?

It gets worse for Rory, unfortunately when he engages in an argument over the religious anti-gay pamphlet he and his caped crusaders have been handing out.

Let’s have a look at your ten reasons why gay people shouldn’t get married, Rory is told, by an angry passer-by.

Point 1. It isn’t marriage.  

That’s right. It isn’t marriage. We’re voting to make  it marriage. Bullshit!

Point 2. It violates natural law. 

We have only one law in this republic and it it isn’t your law. Bullshit!

A crowd begins to gather. Rory smiles manfully.

Point 3. It denies a child a mother or a father.

Divorce and separation do that.  Not gays. Bullshit.

Irish Society for Christian Civilisation Rory O'Hanlon

Point 4. It validates the homosexual lifestyle. 

In other words, you hate gays. Bullshit.

Point 5. It turns a moral wrong into a civil right.  

Don’t lecture me about morals.  Bullshit.

Point 6. It does not create a family but a naturally sterile union.  

Are you telling post-menopausal women they can’t get married? Bullshit.

The crowd begins to murmur support.

Point 7. It defeats the State’s purpose of benefitting marriage.  

Don’t tell me the State’s purpose. Bullshit.

Point 8. It imposes its acceptance on all society.

You don’t get to veto other people’s lives. Bullshit.

Point 9. It is the cutting edge of the sexual revolution.

Sorry kid. You’ve missed that by about fifty years. Bullshit.

Point 10. It offends God. 

I don’t believe in your god so don’t give me this bullshit.

Rory looks at his feet as light applause breaks out. His golden clasp glistens in the weak sun, a lion rampant with papal cross. He declines to explain where the image came from.

Is that the insignia from some equestrian order? I ask.

No.

Are you Opus Dei?

No.

Are you the Knights of the Order of the Sepulchre?

No.

The Knights Who Say Ni?

Who?

Never mind. Are you Knights?

No.

Then why are you wearing that ridiculous robe? Don’t you think it’s a bit gay?

Rory doesn’t answer so I challenge him.

Don’t you think gays deserve to suffer like everyone else?

What? he says.

Let them get married, I tell him.

Later I discover that Rory has not been entirely honest with me. The Irish Society for Christian Civilisation, named on the pamphlets he’s handing out, is indeed a limited company registered in Ireland, and the same Rory O’Hanlon is a company director. If, as he claimed, it was over fifty years old, he must have founded it when he was a babe in arms, but actually, the truth is more prosaic.  According to company records, it was set up in 2004, and that, to the best of my knowledge, is not fifty years ago. It seems Rory’s Christian beliefs allow him to tell direct barefaced lies.

Oddly, when asked the title of his group, Rory seemed to slip. Instead of calling it the Irish Society for Christian Civilisation, he called it the Irish Society for Defence of Tradition, Family and Property, perhaps unconsciously echoing the title of its parent organisation, the American Society for Defence of Tradition, Family and Property.

Oops.

Rory, by the way, is a brother of Ardal O’Hanlon, otherwise known as Father Dougal and not a man remotely associated with such strange ideas.

Father Ted comes to Limerick, however vicariously.

As we leave, I tell Rory that I hope this has helped him to re-evaluate his own prejudices, though I don’t have high hopes.

____________________

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