Wednesday 21 March 2018

Martina Devlin: Buried in self-pity . . . Lowry the martyr tells a good story

Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

I never managed to see the 'Oberammergau Passion Play', a regular pageant since the 17th Century when a Bavarian village began staging Christ's trial and death in gratitude for escaping the bubonic plague. This week, however, a passion play was acted out in Ireland -- some weeks early for Easter, yet paradoxically 14 years late.

The Dail passion play is a mesmerising show because we don't know how the curtain will fall on this version. Crucifixion or exoneration? Will the dead rise and walk again? Is a lamb being led to the slaughter or the wool pulled over our eyes?

There are striking parallels between the New Testament story with which most of us grew up and the saga of the Moriarty Tribunal, also part of our lives for a good number of years. But I never quite grasped how many similarities existed between both narratives until Michael Lowry's one-man spectacle in Leinster House this week.

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