Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 December 2019
Old Conn Docherty was confused. It was bad enough that his son had married a Protestant, but now he was sending their children to the ‘Protestant schil’ on the unconvincing grounds that it was ‘nearer’. He wondered if he should ever have left Ireland for the west coast of Scotland and dropped heavy hints that it was all the fault of his daughter-in-law. His son was furious: the old man thought only what ‘Father Rankin’ told him to think. ‘They confiscated yer bloody brains at birth’, he raged, ‘An’ stuffed their stinkin’ catechism in their place.’ Reflecting on the argument later, Tam Docherty wondered if he was even still a Catholic. Yet it was not that simple. ‘His father and mother had done their work well.