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I was struck recently by an article that appeared in the online section ofthe Irish Times (November 14th. 2015). Written by a priest called Martin Boland, the piece was prompted by the publication of a novel by John Boyne, A History of Loneliness, which has as its main protagonist Fr Odran Yates, who is forced to live in an Ireland where the priest is more likely to be viewed as a paedophile or pariah than as a respected member of society. Clearly a novelist as disaffected as Boyne admits to being with the Catholic Church, would find it hard to be neutral in his depiction of priests, especially when some of the ones encountered in his novel are discovered to have been involved in child abuse. Boland begins his critique of Boyne's novel with the following warning: