“They were all a little afraid of priests but they just took it a little bit too far. Because no-one would put up with this.”
In February 1946, a group of men forced open the gates of St. Mary’s Church in Listowel. It was an act of defiance. A rebuke. A message directed at the “all-powerful” Canon Patrick Brennan, the parish priest.
Canon Brennan had refused to allow the body of 25-year-old Peggy McCarthy to lie in state before burial because Peggy had died giving birth to a child that was born out of wedlock.
More than 70 years later, Peggy’s relatives still remember the different Ireland Peggy grew up in and the unprecedented stand taken by the people of Listowel for one of their own. Peggy’s brother, the songwriter Sean McCarthy, wrote about the aftermath of his sister’s death in the song, ‘In Shame, Love, In Shame’, from which the documentary takes its name.
Listen now on Documentary on One : In Shame, Love, In Shame
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