31st International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin, 1932. Pictorial Record. Dublin, Veritas, 1932
This publication commemorates one of the first major international celebrations of independent Ireland. During June 1932, Dublin was awash with visitors, all converging on the city to celebrate the Roman Catholic devotion to the Eucharist, a celebration which had been organised to coincide with the anniversary of St Patrick’s arrival in Ireland 1500 years before. In addition to being a major religious event, the Congress was the opportunity for the new Irish State to showcase its ability to function as an organisational and unifying force for the nation. The Congress was one of the largest in the twentieth century, with a nearly 37,000 individuals travelling to Ireland and an estimated one-quarter of the population attending the High Mass in Phoenix Park. Many historians consider that the Congress provided a healing and unifying force after the violence of the Civil War; there were still those, however, who felt left outside the fold. The poet George Russell moved to London for the duration of the Congress, telling his friends that he had prayed to Mannanan, Celtic god of the sea, to come and wash all the idolaters away.
For information on the Congress, see the Dublin City Public Libraries catalogue.