Publication Date

Summer 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts


Matthew Spangler


Catholic Priests, Child Abuse, Irish Drama, Irish Identity

Subject Areas



Modern Irish theatre can trace its origins to the creation of The Irish Literary Theatre by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory in 1899, which later became the Irish National Theatre Society, and eventually, the Abbey Theatre. For more than 100 years, Irish theatre has served as a mirror for reflecting Irish identity and as an oracle of future possibilities. A decade into the Twenty First Century found Irish identity challenged by a child abuse scandal of tragic proportions whereby over 30,000 children suffered at the hands of a duplicitous and negligent Catholic Church. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the various ways in which the theatre has represented the Irish Catholic priest in the wake of this scandal.