John Charles McQuiad: Ruler of Catholic Ireland
by John Cooney
(Hardback; 25.00 IEP / 36.50 USD)
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This is the first major study of the life and times of John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, who for more than three decades, from 1940 to 1972, dominated political and social and religious developments in Ireland. While Archbishop McQuaid ranks as one of the great social reformers of independent Ireland, he was also a 'control freak'. A superb administrator, and an admirer of J.Edgar Hoover's FBI, he imposed his iron will on Irish politics and society by instilling fear among his clergy and people. Resolutely opposed to Communism and libneralis, McQuaid's 'vigilance committee' kept files on politicians and priests, workers and students, doctors and lawyers, nuns and nurses, housewives and trade unionists, writers and film-makers. There was no room for dissent. His ambition was directed towards the building up of a truly Catholic State - he attempted to exclued Protestants, Jews, liberal Catholics and feminists.
This book tells the inside story of how McQuaid crushed the attempts of the reformist Minister for Health, Dr. Noel Browne, to introduce a free welfare system for mothers and children. It also shows how McQuaid exercised enormous power over all aspects of government: education, hospitals, the adoption services, penal institutions and criminal justice system. For Protestants in Northern Ireland, he embodied their fears of 'Rome Rule'.
This book for the first time looks at the career of this giant in Irish life, who also wielded enormous influence in defining Ireland's relations with the Vatican and the Irish Catholic diaspora worldwide. In this exceptional study, McQuaid comes to life as an extraordinary man, able to seize every opportunity to forward his ideals and those of his Church.
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