My new book, "The Best Catholics in the World" arose out of a niggle. That – after nearly 25 years of reports, revelations and recriminations – we are still no closer to understanding how the Catholic church had such a hold over Ireland – over us – for so long.
I went looking for a book to give me some answers, found none, and decided to write it myself. Starting in my old parish on northside Dublin, where an abusing priest hid in full view, I began a farewell tour of Catholic Ireland. I interviewed dozens of religious and historians about the country vanishing over the horizon and listened to ordinary people – the silent 90 per cent – about what they saw then, and how do they feel about it now. I learned much I didn’t know about Ireland, its dominant faith, and how one informed the other. Everyone in Ireland today is affected by our Catholic past and, as the church fades and the country moves on, I suggest we part with informed empathy rather than lingering anger. I'm delighted Eason is selling "The Best Catholics in the World" and hope you enjoy reading it.
Derek's book ‘The Best Catholics in the World’ is published now, and is available to buy here: