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From Galway to Cloyne, and beyond: tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism (Pre-print version)
O'Brien, Eugene
Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together, With cords that cannot be broken, Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together Bind us together in Love, There is only one God, There is only one King, There is only one Body, That is why we sing. On a sunny 30 September 1979, in Ballybrit racecourse in Galway, over 200,000 young people listened to two of Ireland’s most popular clerics sing the hymn ‘Bind us Together’, and the performance was given rapturous applause. One of the singers was Eamon Casey, Bishop of Galway. Casey was one of the best-known and most popular members of the hierarchy. Telegenic, baby-faced, funny, a man of passionate convictions, and a long-time critic of the government’s lack of spending on charity. In fact, as chairman of the organisation Trócaire, he was adept at politicising this charity work and refused to meet President Ronald Reagan on his visit to Ireland in 1984, as a result of US policy in Central America. He was often on the Late Late Show, where his skills as a raconteur were show-cased, and he was seen as a very human cleric at a time when the priestly vocation was often still viewed as an austere calling. In addition, Casey was known as a bon viveur who enjoyed socialising and driving fast cars. He was a major force in Irish society, especially when it came to presenting a human face of a monolithic organisation such as the Catholic Church. Casey had charisma, the common touch. He had his finger on the pulse of the Ireland of the 1980s, a time of economic freefall and increasing dissatisfaction with both Church and State.
Keyword(s): Ireland, Religion, Catholicism, Cultural Legacy
Publication Date:
Type: Book
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: Mary Immaculate College
Citation(s): 2017: Introduction in Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism: From Galway to Cloyne, and Beyond, edited by Eamon Maher and Eugene O’Brien, Manchester: Manchester University Press, pages 1-20
Publisher(s): Manchester University Press
First Indexed: 2018-04-04 06:45:04 Last Updated: 2018-11-09 06:46:10