Page 7, 29th April 1988

29th April 1988
Page 7
Page 7, 29th April 1988 — Seeking out Ireland's lost

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Locations: Melbourne, Dublin


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Seeking out Ireland's lost

LAST Sunday's Everyman on BBCI was called "Ireland's Hidden People". While Dublin celebrated 1,000 years of history the Millennium, with the extravaganza of Dublin society's Venetian Carnival (tickets cost £50 a head and horse-drawn carriages £100 extra) and the carriages crossed O'Connell Bridge, a small girl of about seven sheltering from the icy cold wind held out her tiny hand to passers by. There are many Irish with nothing to celebrate Ireland's hidden people.

Everyman went to Ireland to

meet the Irish whose experience of life is far removed from the Kerry Gold adverts and the green fields. Life in Ireland today is harsh. One in five people are unemployed; homelessness is on the increase as more and more Irish migrate to Dublin; the question this film asked was, in a profoundly Catholic country why has the Church been so slow to take a lead on the important moral issues of injustice and oppression, evident in Ireland? At the bottom of the Church's hierarchy we saw four religious who are helping the ordinary people to find their voice and place in society: Peter McVerry is a Jesuit priest who shares a high rise flat in Ballymun with unemployed and previously homeless boys.

He said, "they're forced to rob in order to survive ...if their shoes get a hole in them they must go in and shop-lift a new pair. They have no option but to do that." Sister Mary Taylor is an American Holy Child nun who has also chosen to live and work among the "Third World" on Ireland's doorstep. She lives with the travelling people. Sister Joanna O'Connor lives in inner Dublin and is working from within the community education the women, organising a play area for the children. Their problems are very much her problems. Fr Harry Bohan has been trying to stem the exodus of Irish people from the countryside through his Rural Resource Organisation for the last 15 years. He borrowed the money to invest in remote areas where no one else would, and over 2,500 houses later over 10,000 people have come home.

While these wonderful people are doing something constructive to ease the situation and give people some selfrespect, it is surely up to the Church to start using its power in Ireland for the benefit of the ordinary people and to change hearts and minds

Sunday May 1. /lam Morning Worship ITV. The Church of St Michael and St Mary, Melbourne, Derbyshire, provides today's setting.

2pm My God ITV. Jonathan Miller talks to artist Harold Riley in the fourth of six programmes exploring what the idea of "God" means to leading artists, scientists and theologians.

6.40pm Praise Be BBCI. Thora Hird returns with this ever-popular series with a selection of favourite hymns chosen by viewers from the recent series of Songs of Praise.

10.05pm Everyman: Gods Own Country BBC1. Set against the colourful background of the campaign trail for the US Presidency, Norman Stone's film for Everyman looks at the moral fever which seems to have gripped the heartland of the nation. The film focuses on two politicians at opposite ends of the political spectrum, Pat Robertson and Jesse Jackson, both hoping to tap the source of America's moral malaise and reach the votes of millions who fear the corrosive effects of the permissive society.

Norman Stone first pinpointed the rise of America's moral majority in his film for Everyman in 1980, God Bless America. He says "The battle cry" in 1980 was 'get Ronald Reagan in the White House and it will be alright'. That hasn't

happened". People feel that problems like Aids abortion and drug abuse are actually getting worse and much nearer to home. An enormous struggle is going on at the moment between those who wanted God centre stage and those who are fighting to preserve religious tolerance and the tradit ional separation between Church and State.

Monday May 2. 4.25pm Gerald of Wales BBC!. This promises to be a lively, colourful and humorous animated film narrated by Max Boyce celebrating the 800th anniversary of Gerald's journey.

11.25am Ian Paisley, Turbulent Priest. Radio 4_ Dr Ian Paisley is a member of Parliament at Westminster and a member o f the European

Parliament , He is also Moderator of the Free Presybterian Church Ulster. His is the voice of uncompromising Biblical fundamentalism and Ulster Unionism. He has been imprisoned several times for civil disobedience and believes he is God's prophet, raised up to speak His word. He talks to Dr Edward Norman, Dean of Peterhouse, Cambrid, in the third of four programmes in

series. o 4' s Turbulent Priests C M S

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