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Sunday 21 September 2014

Moore and songwriter fall out over Congress

Singer's comments that the event shouldn't be held here provoke anger

Published 10/06/2012 | 05:00

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'I HATE IT ALL': Christy Moore on the Congress

It was a collaboration made in heaven but Christy Moore and songwriter Johnny Duhan, who penned Christy's modern classic The Voyage, have fallen out over the Eucharistic Congress.

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Christy said that this week's Eucharistic Congress should not be held in Ireland and he wishes that it "would go away".

The 67-year-old musician spoke out to oppose the event, which begins today and culminates with a special Mass in Croke Park next Sunday, with 80,000 of the faithful expected to attend.

"I have no idea why they decided to bring it here. I don't think it should be held here. I just wish it would go away because I hate it all," Mr Moore said.

"I've been writing about the church for 30 or 40 years. I have a song called Strange Ways, it's about the whole f***ing lot of them.

"I hate it (the Catholic hierarchy) but I don't think about it too much because it tends to make me angry."

But Johnny Duhan, a practising Catholic, has defended the church and the decision to bring the Eucharistic Congress here.

"As the writer of one of Christy Moore's most popular songs, The Voyage, I'm surprised and disappointed by the venom of his attack on the forthcoming Eucharistic Congress. The word 'hate' always sends a shiver down my spine, no matter what context it is used in," he said.

Johnny started his career as a 15-year-old frontman with the Limerick-based band Granny's Intentions in the Sixties but these days is best known as a songwriter, though he still performs.

The Voyage is Christy Moore's most popular song, according to iTunes downloads, and is a favourite at weddings and funerals worldwide.

But the songsmith was clearly hurt by Christy's attack on the church.

"I may well share Christy's outrage at the flawed response of the Catholic hierarchy to the brutal crimes committed against children in our State, but I believe in a God who will deal with these complex issues in His own good time.

"To answer the question put by Christy as to why the congress is taking place in Ireland at this time is easy: the majority of the Irish population still profess to be Catholic, and, as Catholics, we have as much right to celebrate the faith we believe in, as pop, rock and folk crowds have a right to congregate to celebrate music and popular culture. If love is a boat, Christy, hate is a ball and chain," he said.

Sunday Independent

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