There is little dispute that Ireland in the 21st century is a society in transformation. With an economy registering unparalleled growth, a rising population buoyed by an enriching immigrant community and an overall confidence in our future, we have much to celebrate. There is, however, a downside to that transformation. We may, by some criteria, be deemed the second wealthiest nation in the world, but for all our success there are many who feel disconnected and marginalized in our society. We may be free from the shackles , economic or social , of our past, but does that freedom constitute true liberty or is it engendering a licence that is ultimately threatening the fabric of our new society?
There is little dispute that Ireland in the 21st Century is a society in transformation. In this book Ceifin has assembled a panel of distinguished speakers whose experience explores and distils that theme in challenging and provocative ways. Including amongst others: Paul Reynolds, RTE Crime Correspondent, John Quinn, Broadcaster and Author, Janet Murray, Director of the Tivoli Institute and Mary Davis, Chairperson of the Active Citzenship Taskforce.
ABOUT THE EDITOR
Fr. Harry Bohan, Chairman of the C?®ifin Centre, qualified as Sociologist in the University of Wales and is currently Director of Pastoral Planning in Diocese of Killaloe and Parish Priest in Sixmilebridge, Co Clare. Believing in family and community as the two vital systems in fostering human relationships he founded the Rural Resource Organisation. This organisation was responsible for encouraging communities across Ireland to participate in determining their own future and resulted in the building of 2,500 houses in 120 villages, in 13 counties.
In 1998 he founded the C?®ifin Centre for Values-Led Change to carry on the conversation on the direction Ireland is taking. The purpose of C?®ifin is to reflect, debate and direct values-led change in Irish society. He was appointed to the Task Force on Active Citizenship by an Taoiseach in 2006.
Recognised as one of the leading social commentators in Ireland today Fr Bohan has written extensively on the subjects of christianity, spirituality and economic development, the importance of the local responding to the global and on understanding change. His books published include Roots in a changing Society and Community and the Soul of Ireland and he is editor and contributor to all 10 previous books of published papers from C?®ifin Conferences. He has broadcast widely on national radio and television. Fr Harry is also well known for his involvement in sport and Clare Hurling in particular.
Fr Harry Bohan has been a priest in the diocese of Killaloe for over fifty years. A qualified sociologist, he is a pioneer in the areas of rural housing and community development. He established the Céifin Centre in 1998, a think tank for values-led change. One of Ireland’s leading social commentators, he has written substantially about Christianity, spirituality and economic development. A hurling enthusiast, he is also former manager of the Clare hurling team.
The social and cultural ferment that is modern lreland has inspired The Ceifin Centre for Values-Led Change under the chairmanship of Fr Harry Bohan to take the topic of Freedom - License or Liberty? as the theme of their ninth conference. A panel of distinguished contributors, among them David Quinn, Alice Leahy, Finola Kennedy, Paul Reynolds and others involved in important cultural interfaces in lreland reflect between them on the rapid transformation of lrish society and to a greater or lesser extent on how best we might engage with this process of change and transition in order to ensure something of a sane and healthy future for tomorrows generation. ln his foreword Harry Bohan identifies globalisation (defined here as the free movement of people, ideas, money and trade) and growth - specifically economic - as the two most influential forces shaping lreland today. These forces are challenging traditional forms of relationships which in turn are being revolutionised by communications technology that poses a further vital question, who is rearing the next generation? The Ceifin documents always provide a lively and stimulating series of papers offering both a thoughtful and incisive analysis of the zeitgeist or spirit of the age. Their timeliness is only jeopardised by the rapid pace of change itself. And despite lrelands champagne standing in the prosperity stakes (and those 30,000 millionaires were told now reside among us) more sober voices are finding an increasingly attentive ear which bodes well for Ceifins ruminations and makes them both welcome and worthwhile.
Fr Paul Clayton-Lea, Intercom