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The history of the nuns in Ireland isn't all glorious, but it isn't all bad either

Michael Kelly


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Sacrifices: ‘It’s not now popular to say so, but Ireland owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Religious Sisters of Charity and other congregations’. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Sacrifices: ‘It’s not now popular to say so, but Ireland owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Religious Sisters of Charity and other congregations’. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

Sacrifices: ‘It’s not now popular to say so, but Ireland owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Religious Sisters of Charity and other congregations’. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

We're rightly showing our appreciation during the pandemic for essential workers who are making a huge contribution while many of the rest of us work from home.

Whether it is doctors and nurses tending to patients affected by Covid-19 or the supermarket workers and lorry drivers who ensure the ready supply of fresh food, many are making a Herculean effort.

But eaten bread is soon forgotten. Don't believe me? Take the case of the Religious Sisters of Charity who were (briefly) in the news at the weekend after the Vatican granted them permission to gift lands worth some €200m to the people of Ireland for the new National Maternity Hospital.