The decision to retain the 18 peals of the angelus bell during the ‘moment of reflection’ on RTÉ has been praised this week for securing a core part of Irish culture and community values.
Plans to revamp the minute long programme, which has been in place since 1951, were expected to remove the religious aspects and contain fewer Catholic elements.
However, RTE has announced that the 18 peals of the Angelus bell would be retained under any proposals to develop the popular slot.
Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae praised RTÉ for their stance on the matter and argued that any decision to remove the Angelus bells from the programme would be disrespectful and not reflective of Irish public attitudes.
The Kerry representative remarked that the Angelus represented the core values of Irish society and was a key aspect of community principles and culture.
Healy- Rae further stressed the role of the Angelus in safeguarding Ireland’s rich tradition of spiritual reflection and contemplation in an increasingly busy, material world, stating that to remove the Angelus would be to rip the heart from the foundations on which Irish society is built.
The minute long programme has been broadcast on television and radio daily at 12 O’clock and 6 O’clock for over 60 years and remains a popular source of sentiment and nostalgia for large sections of the public.
RTE’s decision to retain the traditions of the angelus ensures that any plans to revamp the moment of reflection for the first time since 2009 will respect the principles of Irish culture and the crucial social value of the programme.
Talking about bells: Castleislanders of a certain vintage will remember that the Presentation Convent Bell was rung at least once-a-day – if not more for several generations. It has been silent now for the past couple of decades and I’ve often wondered why.
I’ve also wondered if it could be rung on a purely ceremonial basis on an occasion like next month’s National Heritage Week.
The building and its occupants, were, after all an integral and vital part of the community. The women of the order helped many a family to survive times much tougher and more severe that anything we seen in recent years. It’s just that it was so much part of the soundtrack to life in and around Castleisland for so many years that I thought it would be nice to hear it again during a week which celebrates our heritage.