Cullen, Louis ‘Catholics Under the Penal Laws’, Eighteenth-century Ireland/Iris an dá chultúr, Vol. 1 (1986), pp 23-36.
This article considers the impact of the penal laws of eighteenth-century Ireland on Irish catholics. Cullen discusses catholic interest in property and politics, career paths followed by catholics and levels of church organization to suggest that the impact of the penal laws has been exaggerated. He argues that not only was catholic interest strong in this period, but that, in some cases and regions it actually increased. The article looks at various regions and their landholding families, concluding that, aside from the north, where Ulster catholics were denied the right to worship or build churches, catholic interest and achievement was stronger and more complex in eighteenth-century Ireland than has previously been thought.