Category Archives: Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology
Posted by shane
The Most Rev. John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, combined an unimpeachable orthodoxy with an active interest in the social question (and seemingly boundless personal charity), founding the Catholic Social Welfare Bureau (which gave extensive material and spiritual support to Irish emigrants and their families), the Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology, the Magnificat Family Guild (which helped people to buy their own homes) and the Catholic Social Service Conference, which very soon after its coming into operation was providing over 250,000 meals per month and of which Professor Patrick Corish concluded “transformed the quality of welfare work that still had too much degradation of the Poor Law System attached to it”. Throughout his tenure as archbishop, his Grace took a keen interest in industrial disputes and supported the Teachers’ Strike of 1946 – which privately incensed the DeValera government.
The following instance concerns a strike of over 1,600 men employed in the rail-operative grades of Córas Iompair Éireann (the Irish state transport company) which began on the 16th December, 1950, after members of the Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union (ITGWU) rejected the proposed wage increases for the railways offered by the Joint Industrial Council. The Joint Industrial Council proposed that employees be granted wage increases varying from 4 shillings to 11 shillings weekly, whereas the ITGWU demanded a general increase of 22 shillings for all grades. The intervention of the Archbishop was warmly welcomed by all sides.
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Posted by shane
The Dublin Institute of Catholic Sociology was founded in 1950 by the Most Rev. John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland. The Institute was established to equip Catholics with a greater knowledge of Catholic Social Teaching and gave courses to the general public, of both genders and all social backgrounds, on political science, Irish culture, economics, theology, the philosophy of Marxism, Irish and Church history, industrial relations, social and general ethics, sacred scripture, rural life and its problems, modern science, literature, drama, film appreciation, the Irish Constitution, public speaking and the social encyclicals. The courses rapidly became so popular that the Institute was forced to transfer its premises from 14 Gardiner Place to 66 Eccles Street. The Institute boasted an extensive library and a vibrant debating society, to which all third level students were invited to join. Discussions in classes were lively and questions were invited after each lecture. Enrolling students were given the option of undertaking a three-year comprehensive Diploma or a one-year course in a particular subject. The Institute also organized special lectures throughout the island and arranged courses to train priests in the use of the media, under the auspices of the Irish bishops’ Catholic Television Interim Committee. The annual Social Study Congress always hosted a wide-ranging assortment of speakers; for example, in 1959, discussing the theme “A World To Win”, students heard from, inter alia, Douglas A. Hyde, ex-CPGB activist and former news editor of the Daily Worker (now Morning Star), the Most Rev. Dr. Heenan, Archbishop of Liverpool and subsequently Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Baroness Bosch van Drakestein, president of the Grail Movement, and the black Rhodesian Bernard Chidzero, later to become chair of the IMF/World Bank Development Committee, Zimbabwe’s first finance minister and candidate for UN Secretary General in 1991. Following the Second Vatican Council, the Institute was reconstituted into the Dublin Institute of Adult Education in 1966.