Magazine
Latest Issue

Letter from Dublin

Ireland has a different word for hypocrisy—useful to politicians, priests and sportsmen alike

By Colin Murphy   February 2010

Mass cards: a peculiarly Irish institution, “guaranteeing” a blessing from a priest

If there were a phrase to capture the year just passed in Ireland, and perhaps the Celtic Tiger era that preceded it, it must be “mental reservation.” This was the process by which the former archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell, misled people about his handling of abuse complaints against the Catholic church, without apparently offending his conscience. In the early 1990s, Connell loaned church money to a paedophile priest to compensate one of his victims; he subsequently denied having done so to reporters. Confronted about this later…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect