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Irish Catholic Identities$
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Oliver P. Rafferty

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097317

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097317.001.0001

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Identity and political fragmentation in independent Ireland, 1923–83

Identity and political fragmentation in independent Ireland, 1923–83

(p.307) 18 Identity and political fragmentation in independent Ireland, 1923–83
Irish Catholic Identities

Louise Fuller

Manchester University Press

The identification of Ireland with Catholicism was reinforced by the way in which independent Ireland functioned in the early decades of its existence. However by the 1960s the easy coalescence between Irishness and Catholicism began to unravel. This was caused by a number of factors: social aspirations, economic improvement, the influence of television, and internally in Catholicism by the Second Vatican Council. By the end of the 1960s the violence of the IRA also caused many to re-evaluate the issue of national identity and the role of Catholicism in such identity. The church was beginning to lose its influence as witnessed by the removal from the constitution of mention of the ‘special position’ of Catholicism in the Irish state. The visit of Pope John Paul II in 1979 represented but a temporary hiatus in the transformation of Irish society, where Catholicism and Catholic moral teaching would no longer condition how the Irish thought about themselves.

Keywords:   Culture transformation secularisation nationalism identity ecclesiastical-influence

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