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Church of Ireland Bishop, Gaelic Churchman, A Life
by Aonghus Dwane
Sometimes you read a biography and wish you had met the person you are reading about. Donald Caird has to be one of those. Caird's life as a clergyman in the Church of Ireland took him through curate and parish priest, to Dean, Bishop and, finally, Archbishop of Dublin.
Aonghus Dwane's biography is detailed and well written, covering Caird's early days in Dublin, his education and training for ministry. Those early days included visits to the Blasket Islands where he became an enthusiast for the Irish language, which was to become a major feature in his life.
As Bishop and Archbishop he was to become a key figure in the debates on contraception, abortion and divorce in the Republic; the ordination of women to the ministry of the Church of Ireland, and the Northern Ireland Peace Process. In all this he never lost his open friendliness to everyone he met or his sharp mind and quick-wittedness.
Here is both the private and family man and the man whose interests both North and South afforded him insight and influence in many aspects of Irish life both within and without the Church. Clearly an encounter with Donald Caird was something to be relished and recalled with great pleasure.
Reviewer: Graham Wise (20/04/15)