To understand the historical significance of the 1932 Eucharistic Congress. It is necessary to examine the role of the Catholic Church in early twentieth-century Ireland (Gerard Brockie and Raymond Walsh 2004 and 2008). Before Ireland was granted independence from Britain in 1922, the Catholic Church had become quite Powerful under British rule. As the power of landlord across Ireland was in decline the local priests became more powerful right across the country. This was a time where only one person in every ten went beyond primary school, people often depended on the priest for advice. Ireland was the exception to most countries in Europe where priests were associated with the rich and the powerful e.g. Italy, in Ireland they were much like the ordinary people. The Catholic Church in Ireland had great control over education, which gave it a powerful influence in turning the minds of future generation in its favour.
The Eucharistic Congress took place every 3 years in different countries across the world. It celebrated the Catholic belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and consisted of masses, processions, conferences and receptions (Gerard Brockie and Raymond Walsh 2004 and 2008). Pope Pius XI (1922-39 decided that it would take part in Dublin in 1932 because it was 1500 years since the arrival of St. Patrick to Ireland in AD 432. In 1929 Cosgrave's government established diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Cosgrave and his ministers were determined that the event would be organised smoothly. To show the world that Ireland could host and organise such a prestigious event. Before independence people outside of Ireland often suggested that Irish Catholics were not able for a self-government, it was important for Ireland to prove the world wrong.
The task of organising the Congress was given to Eoin O'Duffy, the Garda Commissioner. At this time Ireland was suffering terribly economically wise.