A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Three Trimesters Later – Reflections on a Referendum


On the evening of Friday, May 25th, I crossed the church-grounds of the Dublin parish where I’d received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, plus a ten-shilling note from my roguish grandfather, at my Confirmation fifty years before, and I stepped into the community centre that’s often used as a kindergarten but was kitted out, instead, while the Angelus rang from the tannoy in the bell-tower, with booths for a national ballot on abortion.The centre didn’t exist when I was little. The village of Ranelagh itself was an overcrowded undergraduate bedsit, short on traffic lights and black with the Brompton bicycles of the Earlsfort Terrace students who crammed the pre-63 cubbyholes in houses that were built between the last of the Victorian stables and the first of the Edwardian garages.