Three Jesuit-schooled lawyers are in the news. Geoffrey Shannon (pictured here), chairman of the new Adoption Authority was educated at Coláiste Iognáid, where, he says: “holding independent views was not merely allowed but encouraged”. Paul O’Higgins SC is the elected chairman of the Bar Council; and his classmate in Gonzaga, solicitor John Costello, is the new president of the Law Society. John comments: “Like my parents, the Jesuits believed that if you came from a privileged background you should put something back into society… One of my heroes is Fr Peter McVerry – also John Lonergan, former governor of Mountjoy Prison. They both speak up for the underprivileged; it’s not a popular thing to do.”
Former Clongowes student, psychiatrist Garrett O’Connor is now CEO of the famous Betty Ford rehab clinic in the USA. He and his actress wife Fionnula Flanagan were back in Ireland recently and interviewed by Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE Radio 1 where they both spoke freely about overcoming their addiction to alcohol. Garrett recorded a lecture to be broadcast on RTE 1 St Stephen’s Day 7pm, entitled ‘The Role of Malignant Shame in the Rise and Fall of the Celtic Tiger”.
Belvedere’s present and past pupils and teachers will need their thermalwear this week (10 a.m. Wednesday to Friday 6 p.m.) as they lie outside the GPO and the Bank of Ireland begging for the homeless. In its 25 years the Sleep-Out and Fast has raised a million for charities: this year these include Peter McVerry Trust, Focus Ireland & Home Again. Contact 085-8140857 for further information. Please help.
An Bord Pleanála has given a green and a red light to plans for the future of Mungret College and its grounds. Dineen and Co., who bought the property from the Jesuits, have received permission to restore the observatory and build 111 houses, but were refused permission for a further 126 houses.
The last lecture in the series organised by Michael O’Sullivan SJ, in All Hallows College, can now be seen on Youtube. Professor Stephanie Paulsell of Harvard Divinity School, speaks on ‘Reclaiming the spirituality of the Song of Songs’.
Correction to the account of the Jesuit murdered in Kimwenza: It is true that three other scholastics died in the last four years – but they were not killed. Two of them died of cancer and one died in a road accident. Apologies.