I am at my parents home in Killarney. I am reminded of two stories that tell a lot about the power that clery had in previous times.
The details of the first story are sketchy. A number of years ago.Dad had been looking at the history of the area and read of someone who was charged with taking a stick to the priest. Apprently what happend was that the local priest used to go where courting couples were meeting. If the young people were too close to one another he would take his stick to them. Someone had lost their temper with the priest and took his stick to him. Dad thinks that this goes back to the late 1880s.
The second story comes from our family history. On the day that my granny (my mother's mother) was being chirstened her parents had chosen a name for her. However the rector's wife didn't like the names they had chosen. So she decided that the child be called 'Beatrice May'. In those days no-one would have questioned her right to do such a thing. So granny had a name bares no relation to anyone else on the family tree.