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Ireland in crisis – new group calls for radical rethink

September 28, 2017

Fergus and Lynda Hogan smaller

Methodist Lay Leader, Dr Fergus O’Ferrall, is pictured with Professor Linda Hogan of Trinity College Dublin,  at today’s launch of A Dialogue of Hope – Critical Thinking for Critical Times.

The book, to which Dr O’Ferrall has contributed a chapter on ‘key areas for constructive engagement, community, solidarity and active citizenship’, calls for the creation of a new narrative for 21st- century Ireland based on input from a representative and inclusive range of Irish people.

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ, convenor of the Dialogue of Hope group notes: “We have a housing crisis; we have serious systemic problems in our health service and policing structures, and we see villages dying on their feet in rural Ireland, yet all we hear talk of is of  economic growth and increasing stability. But the reality is that the economic model is patently failing and we need a new narrative that is much broader and deeper than the neo-liberal economic model can provide.”

The group, which came together in March 2016, is calling on people of all views in Irish society – poor and rich, secularists, atheists, believers, scientists, artists, poets, and philosophers – to come together and work out an alternative vision for Ireland based on common values and not on the single economic model that they see as underpinning thinking today.

They say that they take hope from the signs of social activism, courageous witness and some creative responses to the crisis but that more is needed.

In the newly launched publication, they analyse the roots of the current crises, outline a vision that could help mobilise a broad coalition of those willing to work for change and suggest possible approaches for developing a platform for this coalition. They also propose lines of action that demonstrate the potential for Christian engagement with secular society in tackling specific common concerns.




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