Posts Tagged ‘RTE’

20 seminarians joined in 1980. 17 have since left religious life

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

I don’t think I ever mentioned here, or provided a link to, the excellent article written by John Meagher of the Irish Independent when he interviewed me last October about my journey from belief to unbelief. It was published the date that the RTE documentary From Belief to Unbelief was first broadcast. You can read John’s article for free by clicking here. And you can listen to the documentary for free by clicking here.

Tears of Joy at inauguration of President Michael D. Higgins

Friday, November 11th, 2011

I wept several times watching the inauguration of the new premier citizen of Ireland, President Michael D. Higgins. It was so moving. How great that he had a humanist there, Michael D’s initiative. I wept watching him greeting the children, wept as he gave his inaugural address, wept because life isn’t all about money and economics and bank bonds and bailouts. I loved Michael D’s  focus on inclusiveness and creativity and humanity. I loved that he has spoken out in favour of human rights all his life and, as RTE’s John Bowman remarked during the television commentary, the new President was more often outside the US embassy, standing up for human rights, than inside it. I love Michael D’s individuality, his independence of mind. He is a man of integrity and truthfulness. He arranged a wonderfully inclusive ceremony. And I loved that gorgeous rendition of ‘The Deer’s Cry’ by Shaun Davey, sung so beautifully by his wife Rita Connolly.

Resignation of George Lee

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

For the benefit of international readers, George Lee was a prominent Irish journalist and broadcastor who was appoached by Fine Gael, the main Opposition party in Ireland, to ditch his well-paid, very high profile job with Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, some nine months ago and to run for that party in a by-election. He won by a resounding majority. Since then, we didn’t hear a lot from him. Now we know that he felt he wasn’t given a role, or one which he liked, within the Opposition party. So, at 12.50 p.m. yesterday it was announced that he had resigned from Fine Gael and from the Dail – the Irish Parliament. It was the main news story all yesterday, not least because it seemed to suggest that the Parliament – and not only the main Opposition – was an unproductive place unconducive to using the undoubted talents of at least one recent parliamentarian.

Fine Gael and its Leader appear vulnerable after George’s decision, as does the Dail itself. George is greatly admired, not only by his former electorate but by the public who believed his razor sharp analysis of the problems in the Irish economy. His was one of the few voices warning of the dangers to the Irish economy well before the credit crunch, well before the international banking crisis, and at a time when prominent politicians tut-tutted at his spot-on warnings.

A poll on RTE Radio’s Liveline showed some 83 per cent of people said he was right to resign. He insisted it would have been dishonest for him to stay since he had accepted the invitation to run for Parliament on the understanding that he would influence and help bring about change. In fact, he claimed yesterday, that he had had no influence at all on Fine Gael policy.

I admire George Lee. I regard him as a man of remarkable integrity. I see him as a brave man, willing to face whatever the backlash may be of his decision to resign from politics. He was hounded from many sides yesterday. Luckily for George, and for us, he is articulate and he countered every attack with that greatest weapon of all: the truth. It had not been easy for him to leave aside his high-profile, well-paid job nine months ago. Nor was it easy for him yesterday to stand alone and be true to himself. Well done George. I salute you.