Catholic Ireland was waning even in 1979

In 1972, we voted to remove the special position of the Catholic Church from the Constitution. Now it’s time for Leo Varadkar, and a new generation of politicians, to stand up for the abused and the independence of the state

26th August, 2018

Back in 2012, the UCD historian Diarmaid Ferriter produced a fascinating history of Ireland in the 1970s entitled Ambiguous Republic. Dig into the 670 plus pages of the comprehensive and authoritative book and it is somewhat surprising to find that Ferriter provided relatively little detail or analysis of the papal visit of 1979.

To him – and I checked this with him in recent months – it was not nearly as a big deal as many people claimed...

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