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John Waters is a public commentator, author, playwright and songwriter, from Castlerea, Co Roscommon, in the West of Ireland. He began part-time work as a a journalist in 1981, with Hot Press, Ireland’s leading rock ‘n’ roll periodical, becoming a full-time journalist with the paper in 1984, when he moved to Dublin. As an journalist, magazine editor and columnist, he has specialised in raising unpopular issues of public importance, including the repression of Famine memories, the denial of rights to fathers and, more recently, the conundrum of maintaining faith in an increasingly secular culture. He was a columnist with the Irish Times for 24 years and also wrote for a range of publications from the Observer to L’Osservatore Romano. In May 2013, at the invitation of the Pontifical Council for Evangelisation, he spoke, alongside Pope Francis, to an audience of 200,000 in St Peter’s Square, as part of the Pentecost Vigil of new Catholic movements. His theme that day was addiction and grace – The Modern Cross that Brings Us to Our Knees. Other themes covered in his books and talks include: reason, hope, doubt, freedom, certainty and faith as knowledge of reality. He has been a frequent speaker on such questions to audiences in Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the United States, and two of his books ‘Lapsed Agnostic’ and ‘Beyond Consolation’, which deal in great detail with many of these themes, are also available in Italian.


Symposium Clonliffe May 24th 2:00pm