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Media and socio-cultural communication

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Article published in the Irish Communications Review, Vol. 11, 2009.


MOST CITIZENS OF THE Republic of Ireland describe themselves in their census returns as Roman Catholic, although attendances at church have been declining. Irish Catholics long endured religious discrimination and persecution under British Protestant rule. Partly for that reason, the Irish media tended to treat the Catholic Church very respectfully or deferentially after the foundation of the independent Irish Free State in 1921. However, by the closing decade of the twentieth century, Ireland had passed through a period of rapid and remarkable change. Economic, social and cultural factors made it more likely than before that Irish broadcasters would produce programmes critical of clergy and bishops. Irish Catholics still make a major contribution to social and educational services



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