Welcome to my website!
Here, you will find details of my Career and Life, Books, and Media & Public Appearances. I also make available a collection of my journalistic writings. Just below, you will find a new Moral Matters Column (uploaded each Friday) and a selection of my Saturday Essays from the Irish Daily Mail. At the bottom of this page, I have selected a quote from my writings in the hope that it will help you kick off your day on a contemplative, thought-provoking, but always life-affirming note.
July 5, 2017
Cherish the blaze of light in every word: the eternal footman waits
They begin to sing and, only then, do we realise that it’s all over. Eight years since their first day in primary school – eight years of ups and downs, highs and lows. But this is a high note and we shall not drown their moment in a sea of tears. Fr Aquinas Duffy, whom you have met before, takes to the stage and says Mass. He does so with tenderness and a smile. His warm presence is enough to remind us of the deep goodness which still stirs at the heart of the Church. The boys know their time is nigh. You can see it in their damp eyes. They are but a step away from a new life and the thought weighs heavy. From infants to young men, they stand before us as the product of a school in which they have so much pride. They don’t want to leave, but they must and we all know the moment is at hand. Tears of love, of pride, of mourning. Yes, mourning: that is what I began to feel shortly before the graduation ceremony. Why was I mourning when I still have two other sons in the school? I mourn the years holding his hand, watching him grow in life and learning…Read more
July 1, 2017
A dark day for democracy
IN a democracy, trial by jury is an essential guarantor of true freedom. It is a right not enjoyed around the world; it is a right for which, over the years, many have fought – and some have even died. It is a cornerstone both of our judicial process and of our deeper belief that, ultimately, it is the people of this country who are the pillars on which the State was built. And therefore, when a jury of 11 men and women handed down not guilty verdicts on Thursday to six men accused of falsely imprisoning the former tánaiste and her assistant in 2014, I saluted them. They had done their job: they had weighed the evidence presented to them, they had considered the arguments put before them, and they had arrived – unanimously – at an emphatic verdict. The Jobstown Six, as they have styled themselves (doubtless trying to suggest themselves, laughable as it is, as a latter-day Birmingham Six), were found not guilty of the charges they had faced. The system had done precisely what our forebears had intended it to do. Paul Murphy and his acolytes were free to go, without a stain on their characters. But being innocent of this particular crime does not, however, mean they had done nothing wrong…Read more