Jane Donnelly and I were in Ardee today for an Atheist Ireland meeting, and on the way home we stopped off in a Drogheda church to see the head of the decapitated Oliver Plunkett.
It is on display alongside the obligatory collection boxes, and a fun cartoon of Plunkett being hanged to delight any children who are unimpressed by being forced to stare at a dead skull.
Also nearby are assorted bones including one of his ribs, which a description explains was donated to alleviate the sadness of local nuns. I can just imagine the discussion that decided that.
“I hear the nuns in Drogheda are sad.”
“I know. That’s terrible.”
“We should really do something to alleviate their sadness.”
“Great idea. What do you suggest?”
“Well, this may seem out of left field, but hear me out…”
“Yes, go on…”
“What if we gave them one of Oliver Plunkett’s ribs?”
They really are an an odd lot, the Catholics.