It was an honour to have Mr Justice Gerard Hogan of the Supreme Court launch David Jameson’s The Tilson Case: Church and state in 1950s Ireland at the Merrion Hotel, Dublin in late April. In his speech Mr Justice Hogan observed that the judgments in the Tilson case have been widely ‘misunderstood and misconstrued’ among historians and that David Jameson’s book was to be welcomed because it ‘set the record straight’.
Indeed, it was also an honour to have Alan Tilson present at the launch. Alan, together with his two brothers, David and Paul, was placed in the Protestant Birds’ Nest orphanage in Dún Laoghaire by his father, Ernest, back in 1950. The matter ended up in the High Court and Supreme Court and was widely covered in newspapers in Ireland, Britain and the United States. However, it appears that Ernest would later regret his ill-considered measure: on his death bed he told his family ‘if I knew what was going to happen, the court cases and all that, I would never have done it’.