Teaching Morality in Contemporary Ireland
I begin this article with a confession. On May 26 of last year, the day the results of the referendum on abortion were released, I despaired. I call this a confession, not because I was devastated by what I felt to be a great mistake by the Irish Public – I suspect hundreds of thousands of people felt as I did – but because I really despaired; I lost hope. My faith in God remained, but my faith in people had taken a serious blow. What’s more, I lost faith in theology. I came to Maynooth in 2002 to study theology because I wanted to make a positive contribution to society. From that time until last year, I remained naïve enough to believe I could do so, but the events of last year have forced me to grow up a little. I still believe I can make a difference, but my expectations of the world and myself have changed. In this article, I reflect on what the Irish moralist can reasonably expect to achieve, and offer some suggestions on how best to achieve it.