The Eucharistic Congress of 1932 is widely recognised to be a defining moment in the religious, social, and political life of the Irish Free State. The thirty-first international Congress took place in Dublin over the week of 21-26 June 1932, with smaller celebrations taking place in towns and villages across the island. With the input of the church, politicians, individuals, and community groups, the event represented an unparalleled display of the Catholic faith in the state. Coinciding with the fifteenth centenary of Patrick’s mission to Ireland, the Congress was viewed as public reaffirmation of faith and the just conclusion of Ireland’s religious history.

Triumphalist in its tone and content, the Congress was a religious and nationalist success. While much of the scholarly focus has been on the Congress’s impact domestically, it was an international event, where Dublin was ‘on show to the world’. Catholic pilgrims and hierarchy descended upon Dublin from across the world, bringing a cosmopolitan Catholic flavour to Ireland, which had not been witnessed before.

Marking the occasion of the 90th anniversary of this landmark event, The Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s University is inviting papers for a one-day symposium, taking place on 21st February 2022 (online and in person), which will reflect upon many aspects of the Congress of 1932. Papers will be twenty-minutes long and topics include:

  • The political impact of the Eucharistic Congress in Ireland.
  • Church and State relations.
  • Women and the Congress.
  • The Congress and Material Culture.
  • The Congress and Northern Ireland.
  • Who owned St Patrick? The Congress and other religious denominations.
  • The Eucharistic Congress and historical memory.
  • The Congress and Irish media.
  • The Congress as a transnational event.
  • The Eucharistic Congress and Irish ‘Catholic Action’.
  • Legacy of the Congress.


Abstracts and biographies should be emailed to Barry Sheppard at by Wednesday 15 December at 4pm.