But the star said the first time he realised – along with the rest of the country – that shocking secrets were being hidden in Catholic Ireland was in 1984 with the tragic death of Ann Lovett, who gave birth to a stillborn baby boy at a grotto in Granard, Co Longford, and died shortly afterwards.
Gay Byrne dismisses Sunday Tribbune coverage of Ann Lovett’s death on the Late Late Show in 1984,from the opening minutes of a Scannell documentery on Ann Lovett.
“There are three human acts of being born, creating life or making love and dying, and I think they are the three most important things you ever do and for each of these the Church has doctrine which would inspire you to fear all three of them”
Hozier on The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne on Sunday night on RTÉ One at 10.35pm.
Reaction queen Gay Byrne questions Charles Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother.
Fergus McCormack writes:
In a rare personal interview, Charles Spencer, the 9th Earl Spencer and brother of Princess Diana, talks with remarkable openness and candour about his sister’s tragic death, his controversial oration at her funeral, their difficult childhood together and the challenge of guarding his own privacy, as the brother of the world’s most famous woman….
The Meaning of Life With Gay Byrne RTÉ One on Sunday at 10.30pm.
“I am looking for certainty and looking for something to hang on to. And I’ve been brainwashed with all the other lovely Catholic people in Ireland, with the Christian Brothers. You don’t come through 10 years of the Christian Brothers . . . without that making an impression on you.”
Gay Byrne to Róisin Ingle on her Irish Times podcast ‘Róisin Meets…’
Gay Byrne: “Suppose what Oscar believed in when he died, despite your protestations, it’s all true and you walk up to the Pearly Gates and you are confronted by God, what will Stephen Fry say to him, her or it?”
Stephen Fry: “I will basically, that is the theodicy I think, I will say ‘Bone cancer in children? What’s that about? How dare you, how dare you create a world in which there is such misery it’s not our fault? It’s not right, it’s utterly utterly evil, why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?’ That’s what I’d say.”
Byrne: “You think you’re going to get in?”
Fry: “No, but I wouldn’t want to. I wouldn’t want to get in on his terms. They’re wrong. Now if I died and it was Pluto, Hades and it were the twelve Greek Gods then I would have more truck with it because the Greeks were, they didn’t pretend not to be human in their appetites and in their capriciousness and in their unreasonableness.
They didn’t present themselves as being all seeing all-wise all-kind all beneficent, because the god who created this universe, if there is a god was quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish, totally, we have to spend our life on our knees thanking him, what kind of god would do that?.
Yes the world is very splendid but it also has in it insects whose whole life cycle is to burrow into the eyes of children and make them blind, they eat outwards from the eyes, why, why did you do that to us?
You could easily have made a creation in which that didn’t exist, it is simply not acceptable, so you know atheism is not just about not believing there is a god, but on the assumption that there is one what kind of god is it, it’s perfectly apparent he is monstrous, utterly monstrous, he deserves no respect whatsoever, the moment we banish him life becomes simple purer, cleaner, and more worth living in my view.”
Byrne: “That sure is the longest answer to that question that I ever got in this entire series.”
The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne, Sunday February 1, 10.30pm