*Fr Harry Bohan standing before a statue unveiled to Brendan O’Regan in Sixmilebridge. Photograph: Eamon Ward

FEAKLE native, Fr Harry Bohan will release his latest book ‘Building Dreams’ next week.

Having recently celebrated sixty years in the priesthood, Fr Harry has witnessed at first-hand how the Church in Ireland has gone from being at the centre of people’s lives to dwindling numbers at church services.

In addition to being a priest of the Killaloe Diocese he is regarded as one of Ireland’s leading sociologists and social commentators, he has consistently argued against policies of centralisation and major urbanisation. He forecast many of the social ills associated with such policies and with particular emphasis on their impact on rural Ireland and the settlement pattern which is unique to this country.

‘Building Dreams’ sees Fr Harry highlight the fact that most of the material success which Ireland has enjoyed has been driven by economics and large business but without a proper values system. There are times in history when people are called on to reinvent themselves. He believes that the Church in Ireland got that call in the 1960’s but resisting change was a lost opportunity, and which over time led to the disconnect, which many people now feel.

Now residing in Shannon, his latest publication is a personal reflection where he recounts his own efforts to work with people, where they are at, and highlights some of the many initiatives that he was involved with in attempting to achieve this. At national level he has always been a reader of ‘the signs of the times’ and much of the debate which he encouraged, especially through a series of annual conferences, highlighted potential developments and downturns which subsequently came to pass.

He believes that very many people are searching for meaning in their lives and that in the future both Church and State will have to involve people more in the decisions which directly affect them.

An official launch will be held in Sixmilebridge’s GAA Clubhouse on Friday December 8th at 7:30pm by Bishop Emeritus of Killaloe, Willie Walsh. The book printed by Real Print, will be available in bookshops, newsagents and other outlets, in time for Christmas, priced at €10.00 with all profits going towards Pieta House.

Manager to the Clare senior hurling team when they won the National Hurling League in 1977 and 1978, the only time the county has ever won back to back league titles, Fr Harry also served as a selector during Anthony Daly’s three year tenure as senior manager which ended in 2006. Bohan gave a special address to elected members of Clare County Council in December 2019 when he warned that the lack of regional development in Ireland is fracturing “the concept of society” within the country and at the same sitting he was one of the first voices to praise the beginning of Mary Considine’s tenure as CEO of the Shannon Airport Group.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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