The Collected Letters of Flann O’Brien, judiciously edited by Maebh Long, sheds light on O’Brien’s working methods as a writer as well as on his ghastly ailments ranging from imagined leprosy (bronchial pneumonia) to his all-too-real cancer.
His characters try to hide their sins and weaknesses (alcoholism, adultery, drug-addiction, murder) from the world and from themselves. ‘I am full of fears,’ he said. Is the Catholicism of his upbringing the key to understanding the films of Alfred Hitchcock?
Fr Martin Royackers, a defiant Canadian Jesuit priest, was shot dead in his dilapidated coastal parish on 20 June 2001. Sixteen years later, the motive for his killing remains a mystery, though some believe what led to his death was his defence of the rights of the poor
An American Catholic missionary stationed for 20 years in Nicaragua and El Salvador, Sister Maura Clarke, was devoted to an ideal of “social justice”. In this role, she campaigned on behalf of the Central American poor.