Irish Catholic Church

During the years by listening and searching churches - and having many contacts to Ireland - I have learned a lot of Irish Catholic Church.

No need to write the history. Wikipedia gives it here.


Parish activity

It has been a big surprise to me how active the parishes are, comparing to Finland. No matter how small or big the community around the church is, there are a lot of activities. Of course the biggest parishes have more many kind of groups and organizations for people, for educational, health or hobby purposes. Many of them have even own schools and hospitals etc. Dozens or even hundreds parishioners take part of the volunteer working.

The amount of the daily Masses in also very high - daily Masses even twice - and even more in the weekends.

Here an example of the parish groups of St Conleth's Parish, Newbridge (Co Kildare).


Also there have been many interesting details among the individual churches and also villages. Many churches have colourful history - for the founder, for the happenings around it - or the saint for the church is named.

One example: St Oliver Plunket Parish is named by Oliver Plunket who was beatified 1600-century and his body parts are still around Europe. Also some churches have significant role in turbulent happenings in Northern Ireland.


The most generous people

Among the big activity in the parishes the Irish people are also very generous. I have noticed it from the church collections when the priests announce weekly collection Euros, usually thousands in big parishes..

So, it seems to be a clear facts that the Irish are the most generous people in Europe.

One example: When I heard very little Gusserane Parish, there were an announcement of the meeting in local pub for "The Children of Chernobyl" ! I've never thought that anybody ever had any collection for them!


I found several articles and news of Irish generousity:

 "Year of Positive Ireland: Day 67 Most generous country in Europe" (June 2014)  Read

 "Ireland is the most generous country in Europe, says World Giving Index"  Read

 "Ireland ranked the most generous country in Europe for third year running"  Read


The village-names

I have heard a lot of Irish villages announced (or small areas of the villages) in parish notices during the Masses. Many times I have had to give up to understand how the name is written.

-The easiest names are of course English names or anglicisations of Irish Gaelic language names.

-The names of Irish Gaelic origin are impossible! Even several palces given might give you nothing. When you hear the village names like Aughagower, Claddaghduf, Knockcloghrim or Cloonsheerevagh you simply can not type them to google-search to find the church.

-Much easier the challenge is with the names of Norse origin, based on the presence of the Vikings from Scandinavia (800-900 centuries), like Leixlip, which is given by them.

The village-names are listed in internet, that helps a little:  Villages in Ireland and Villages in N.Ireland




(c) HKU, 2014