• The reality of the church in modern Ireland might be seen most clearly, not in Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's speech at the RDS, but in the comments from Ulster Bank, mentioned by Charlie Weston when writing in the Irish Independent on communions (". . . now less of a holy show").
He quotes Ulster Bank, who claim "it is an exciting time for children making their First Communion as in many cases it is the first time the eight- and nine-year-olds will have an experience of spending and saving." Sadly, he's right.
The things that make this event exciting for children have little or nothing to do with faith, but lots to do with money. Welcome to the real Ireland, all you Eucharistic Congress visitors.