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Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Image: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP/Press Association Images

Gallery: How the world saw Enda Kenny's attack on the Vatican

Much of the international press picked up on the Taoiseach’s speech over the weekend. Here’s what they had to say…
Jul 25th 2011, 12:17 PM 2,633 13

ENDA KENNY’S DÁIL speech attacking the Vatican last Wednesday took a while to sink in internationally – but when it did, its importance was recognised.

The weekend brought high-profile coverage of the Taoiseach’s words everywhere from the USA to Taiwan. Writing in the New York Times, columnist Maureen Dowd called it a “breathtaking” intervention which “thrilled” a “bankrupt and battered Eire” direly in need of “a shot of muscular national pride.” She added: “The Irish were taken aback by the ire of the ordinarily amiable, soft-spoken Kenny.”

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Bill Uren also backed Mr Kenny’s stance.” One can certainly share the sense of frustration and, indeed, quite patent anger and irritation of the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, in his recent criticisms of the Vatican,” he wrote.

Meanwhile the Taiwan-based China Post called the Vatican’s actions over clerical abuse scandals “shocking” and said Enda was “justifiably indignant”. “No Irish prime minister has ever launched such a stunning attack on the Church,” an editorial added, linking the Vatican’s conduct to that of Murdoch’s News Corporation in its handling of the phone hacking controversy.

Closer to home, the Guardian also acknowledged that the Taoiseach’s words were “unprecedented”. The speech, wrote the paper’s Ireland correspondent Henry McDonald, “marks a significant, historic milestone on Ireland’s journey away from being a mono-Catholic state into a 21st European republic.”

Slideshow: International reaction to Enda Kenny’s speech

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Michael Freeman

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