Columns

 

December 25, 2013

Dr Mark Dooley’s Christmas Column

As night descends on Christmas Eve, something extraordinary happens.  Quite suddenly, the streets fall silent as shoppers and revellers head for home.  After all the mayhem of recent weeks, it is as if life draws a breath in joyful anticipation of what is set to unfold…

 

December 18, 2013

Bleak midwinter is bathed in light from our children

We are in the bleak midwinter, with only days to go before the darkness begins to recede. It is a time of merriment as people party, shop and sing…

 

December 11, 2013

I cherish that light that will never go out

It is four in the afternoon and the sun has already disappeared behind the Dublin Mountains.  As the evening shadows stretch across our kitchen, I perform a time-honoured Dooley ritual… 

 

December 4, 2013

A true friend prefers to love than to be loved

She entered my world like a meteor. Energetic, vibrant and vivacious, she loved life with a singular passion…

 

November 27, 2013

The Church is at the heart of the real France

Last week I was ‘guest of honour’ at a conference on Ireland in Caen University in Normandy …

 

October 23, 2013

Amazed by the mirror image of a young me

The incense billowed upwards as the priest, vested in a golden cope, chanted the haunting hymn, Tantum Ergo. In that unforgettable moment, I knew I had to be…

 

October 9, 2013

Ditch history and we forget who we are

‘I am Mr Cosgrave and I have spent the past 15 years in the Soviet Union’. That was how my old Latin teacher introduced himself on his first day in our school. Having been brought up…

 

October 2, 2013

Pooh Bear has a lesson for us Xbox doesn’t

Keeping our house free of technology is not easy. Increasingly, I am coming under pressure to invest in those gadgets and games that occupy the living space of most modern homes. That I am steadfast in my opposition to…

 

September 25, 2013

If we forget past demons, evil triumphs

My eldest son often inquires if the Devil is real, if he has appeared in his ‘true form’ on Earth. It is difficult for a father to answer such questions, especially when his child is so…

 

September 18, 2013

Emigration left a gaping hole in my family

I can still hear the sound of my grandmother sobbing. It was 1986, and my family had gathered at Dublin Airport to bid farewell to my aunt, her husband and…

 

September 4, 2013

The trauma of the first day at school, for Dad

It all happened so fast. One day, my three children were happily playing at home, their lives devoid of worry and care. The next, they were in school, two of them for the first time. I could not have predicted…

 

August 25, 2013

One hallowed sanctuary is sadly no more

Few things in life are more consoling for this columnist, than visiting an empty church. From the frenetic bustle of the street, you enter a silent space suspended between two worlds. Nothing can be heard except…