O’Loan accuses Irish media of virulent anti-Catholic bias

Posted By: April 18, 2016

Former police ombudsman tells conference papers are ‘aggressively hostile’ to church

Patsy McGarry in Boston. Irish Times. Monday, April 18, 2016

The media has been criticised at a conference in Boston for contributing to the decline of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Speaking in Boston College at the weekend, Baroness Nuala O’Loan said “in a country in which the media was once sympathetic to the Catholic Church, it is now aggressively hostile”.

“Papers like The Irish Times now run columns in which things are said about and imputed to Catholics which would not be tolerated in the context of Islam or Judaism, or of homosexuals or humanists,” the former police ombudsman for Northern Ireland said.

“Journalists seem, on occasion, to have abandoned the careful, nuanced use of language in favour of wild sweeping assertions which fuel the lack of understanding of what Catholicism is about, and encourage virulent anti-Catholicism,” she said.

She was at the “Faith in the Future: Religion in Ireland in the 21st century” conference organised by Boston College’s centre for Irish programmes.

“Easy assumptions are made and generalities are the order of the day. For the most part people do not challenge some of the wilder statements, such as those about paedophile priests or widespread savagery in Catholic schools, possibly because they do not want to be seen to do so,” she said.