In the late 1970s and 1980s that public face of Sociology at Maynooth was frequently identified with the imposing figure of Dr. Micheál Mac Gréil S.J. who lectured at the University for twenty five years, retiring in 1996. This month saw the launch of his memoir The Ongoing Present. A Critical Look at the Society and World in which I Grew Up.
Mac Gréil is well known for his advocacy work on a wide range of issues from the Irish language, to Traveller rights and Western regional development. His sociological contribution centres on his studies of prejudice and tolerance in Irish society spanning a period of almost forty years. Mac Gréil provided a framework for analyzing how Irish people really felt about the ‘others’ in their midst or at some remove. His three volumes: Prejudice and Tolerance in Ireland published in 1977, updated in 1996 and again in 2011 as, Pluralism and Diversity in Ireland, afford the opportunity to reflect on attitudinal consistencies and changes across time.
Mac Gréil’s memoir was launched recently (Oct. 8th, 2014) at the Royal Irish Academy by comedian Ardal O’Hanlon who described The Ongoing Present as “part memoir, part history, part utopian philosophy.’
Archbishop Michael described the book at a launch in Westport (Oct. 13th, 2014) as going from “from the micro village to the macro world” and noted that the book covered "practically the whole history of the Irish State and how it managed to adapt to and survive political, economic, religious and social crises and challenges."
To obtain a copy and to read more see here.