Pádraig Standún

Works

Life
1946- (occas. Pádraig de Standún); b. Co. Mayo; ordained at Maynooth; priest in Mayo; staged 48 fast in reaction to La Mon IRA bombing; lived in virtual wedlock for 25 years with his partner and her daughter; issued Súil na Breith (1983), soon afterwards trans. as Lovers (1983), a story of love between a priest and a woman; also Cion Mná (1993), a novel of lesbian love, translated by himself as A Woman’s Love (1994); issued Stigmata (1995), and trans. as Do. (1995); issued An Chéad Cló (q.d.), a volume of poetry; issued Saoire (1997), a novel; issued Eaglais na gCatacómaí (2004), a personal view of church over 30 years in which he admits to his non-celibate ‘living arrangements’; issued Sobalsaol (2005), in which A soap opera scriptwriter looks to his own life for inspiration; issued Pádraig Standun, Díbirt Dé (2007), a novel of adultery, deceit and religion.

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Works
Fiction, Sú´il le Breith (Cló Chonamara 1983), and Do. [trans. as] Lovers (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1991), 162pp.; AD 2010 (Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Chonnachta 1988), 166pp.; Cíocras (Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Chonnachta 1991), and Do. [trans. as] Celibates (Swords: Poolbeg Press 1993), 148pp.; Na Anthraipeologicals (Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Chonnachta 1993), 235pp.; Cion Mná (Indreabhán, Conamara: 1993), and Do. [trans. as] A Woman’s Love (Swords: Poolbeg Press 1994), 238pp.; Stigmata (Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta 1995), 238pp. and Do. (Dingle; Brandon Press 1995), 244pp.; Saoire (Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta 1997), 148pp.; Sobalsaol (Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta 2005), 224pp.; PDíbirt Dé (Cló Chonnachta 2007), 180pp.

For Children, An tAinmhí (Indreabhán, Conamara: Cló Iar-Chonnachta 1992), 141pp., and Do. [trans. as] The Anvy (Clo Iar-Chonnachta 1993), 171pp. [horror].

Memoir, Eaglais na gCatacómaí (Cló lar-Chonnachta 2004), 350pp.; Poetry, An Chéad Cló (q.d.).

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Criticism
Gearóid Denvir, ‘Ualach na Croise, Léamh ar Súil le Breith, le Pádraig de Standún’, in Macalla (1984), pp.120-31; also Denvir, ‘Nótaí ón Imeall, Léirmheas ar AD 2016’ le Pádraig de Standún, Comhar (Meitheamh 1989).

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Commentary
Pól Ó Muirí, review of Eaglaisna gCatacomai, in Fortnight [Belfast] (Dec. 2004), p.28: ‘[…] Writing and his mininstry are the two most important things for Standún. He is at pains to prtect and promote his fiction and his own view of what the role of the Catholic Church should be. […] There is an odd kind of diffidence in his description of these commitments [to his adopted family]. He’s not ashamed but nervous that too blunt an admission wills ee him kicked out of the priesthood. not because he’d miss the security but simply because he’d miss being a priest. Added to the diffidence, thogh, is a certain self-regard that he hasn’t been pulled up on this unorthodox lifestyle by his fellow clerics or laity. [Quotes:] “The communiities in which I worked accepted me until now; they knew, more or less, about my living arrangements. I didn’t announce them publicly, but I implied it between the lines, because I didn’t want to leave my vocation.” O Muiri refers to allusions to an earlier review by himself in Standún’s current book which shows that the review rankled, but does not stint his criticism: ‘Being productive […] is not the same as being good. Knocking out the novels might sate his meed to write but has resulted in poor fare too often. Publishing a book should also be an occasion, the end of a creative silence. That anticipation isn’t there. […]’ Compares Standún’s criticisms of the Church adversely with the systematic critique in D. Vincent Twomey’s The End of Irish Catholicism? and with the liberation theology of Joe McVeigh.

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Quotations
Lovers (1991): ‘Paddy McEvilly was bursting for a piss, but he was too comfortable to leave the warm coccon of blankets to relieve himself. He had six pints of Guinness the previous night and worked that tricked he learned from the book the priest had lent him. How many socks had been filled like that since McGahern’s second novel had been published! It didn’t make him guilty or ashamed any more. He had slept well until the pressure on his bladder awakened him.’ (p.1; see Notes, infra.)

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Notes
Lovers (1991): Father Tom is sleeping with Marion; she becomes pregnant; in the ensuing scandal, he defends his entitlement to remain in the priesthood; makes up his mind to leave and marry Marion if dismissed by the Bishop, who finally instructs him to continue with his duties; on his return to the parish, he finds Marion absent without an address and receives notice to remove his property from the parish house.

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