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Souperism: Myth or Reality-Desmond Bowen-Review

Uploaded by Kerrytom on Aug 10, 2013

The first publication to examine is Desmond Bowen’s “Souperism: Myth or Reality?” This text provides a confined study of the issue of proselytization in the dioceses of Ballina and Killala, Co. Mayo and Achonry, Co. Sligo, during the Famine. It also provides a very substantial history of the churches in Connaught leading up to the Famine. The area of the book which is most important to this study are chapters eight and nine. In these he specifically examines the Missionary settlements in both Dingle and Achill. In regards to the Dingle mission his account is mainly a history of the settlement leading up to the start of the Famine. He takes a quite objective view on the settlement, a view which is not always prevalent when writing about such a sensitive matter and this is found throughout the book as a whole. When he does touch on the issues surrounding the Famine in Dingle, he is more interested in discussing the more positive roles that both the Protestant and Catholic clergy had in the area. He uses excerpts from the two Kerry newspapers of the time, ‘The Kerry Evening Post’ and ‘The Kerry Examiner’, to further this point. “When a Protestant clergyman, Matthew Moriarty, visited his Dingle home, he told the readers of ‘The Kerry Evening Post’ of 6 January 1847: ‘The Roman Catholic priests of this district almost live in their saddles, and even so, I am sure, they cannot minister the rites of their church to all who die within its pale,’ Both papers supported Catholic and Protestant clergy who joined in protest when Tralee harbour was filled with food-stuffs.” The important point to understand here is that these two newspapers had opposing religious and social views. ‘The Kerry Evening Post’ was a publication which was more conservative leaning, and favoured the Protestant view, while ‘The Kerry Examiner’ was more liberal and sympathetic towards the Catholic predicament. That Bowen was highlighting these instances where both opposing newspapers shared in their admiration for the good work done by both sides of the religious divide, shows that his objective here is to give a balanced account of the work being done. Bowen makes very good use of primary source material for his study. He takes various quotes from the newspapers of the time, but also makes use of contemporary, first-hand accounts written during the time such as Asenath Nicholson’s...

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Uploaded by:   Kerrytom

Date:   08/10/2013

Category:   History

Length:   4 pages (869 words)

Views:   1324

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