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Voices
Kevin Hargaden is a theologian with the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice in Dublin, Ireland. His is the author of Theological Ethics in a Neoliberal Age, published by Wipf and Stock.
A man walks past a Marian mural in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Feb. 20, 2013. Data from the 2021 census showed 45.7% of respondents identified as Catholic or were brought up Catholic, compared with 43.5% identifying as Protestants, the first time in more than a century that Catholics outnumber Protestants. (CNS photo/Cathal McNaughton, Reuters)
Politics & SocietyDispatches
Kevin Hargaden
Just below those top-line figures on religious affiliation, significant changes in national identity also become clear—29 percent of the Northern Irish population now see themselves exclusively as Irish. This is just three points behind the 32 percent who consider themselves British.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth, center, enters Croke Park stadium with Ireland's President Mary McAleese and Gaelic Athletic Association President Christy Cooney in Dublin May 18, 2011. The stadium was the scene of the 1920 Bloody Sunday massacre, in which British troops killed 12 people at a soccer match. During her visit to Ireland, the queen offered her sympathy and regret to all who had suffered from centuries of conflict between Britain and Ireland. (CNS photo/Reuters)
Politics & SocietyNews Analysis
Kevin Hargaden
The tributes and gestures from the leaders of Irish political parties long established in the European mainstream came as no surprise. What came as something of a shock—especially to some of their supporters—were statements issued by the leaders of Sinn Féin, the party most associated with the Irish Republican Army.
Men cutting turf from bog in Maamturk Mountains near Cong, Ireland. iStock photo.
Politics & SocietyDispatches
Kevin Hargaden
Destroying bogland is the Irish equivalent of burning the Amazon.
Politics & SocietyDispatches
Kevin Hargaden
Few expected that the waters off Ireland’s southwestern coast would become a potential front in a confrontation with the Russian Federation. But that is exactly what happened at the end of January.
Energy from the wind in Roscommon. iStock photo.
Politics & SocietyDispatches
Kevin Hargaden
Movies set in Ireland rarely omit the trope of the aerial shot of rolling green fields. After all, it is the Emerald Isle. Or is it?
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with Irish President Michael Higgins during a private audience at the Vatican Sept. 17, 2021. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
Politics & SocietyDispatches
Kevin Hargaden
Even Queen Elizabeth II is expected to attend this week’s ecumenical “Service of Reflection and Hope.” So why has the president of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, turned down his invitation?
People wait to see Pope Francis during his visit to the Knock Shrine in Knock, Ireland, Aug. 26. The pope’s visit was still a major event in Ireland, but the repeal of the ban on blasphemy is one more sign of secularization. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 
FaithShort Take
Kevin Hargaden
Before the vote, the Irish bishops called the law against blasphemy “largely obsolete,” and its demise makes for a more constructive social arrangement than Catholic hegemony.