In a fascinating article by Eamon Hedderman on Church and State in the Republic of Ireland, we learn that Article 44 of the Irish Constitution guarantees ‘the rights of every denomination to manage its own affairs’.

However, in AD 2000 Ireland signed up to the Convention for the Protection of the Architectural Heritage of Europe, and here Article 3 states that ‘Each party (i.e. government) undertakes to take statutory measures to protect the architectural heritage’ (which of course includes churches). Only too late did they realise that the two are contradictory: wouldn’t it be nice if politicians and civil servants were to take the trouble to read these grandiose conventions before signing them?

This opinion comes from CA issue 208

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