Great Irish Speeches, compiled and with commentary by Richard Aldous brings together what he sees as the 50 great Irish speeches and I?ve few arguments. Grattan, Emmet, O’Connell, Pearse and Larkin seem to shine as orators way beyond the abilities of modern contributions from Ahern, Hume, Adams, Paisley, Trimble, Robinson and Harney. Though the more recent speeches often seem to be picked on the basis of historical significance or moment over anything powerfully presented by the speaker.
For me a major omission is it has nothing at all from James Connolly “I would have more respect for the most wretched child of the poorest labourer in Ireland than for even the most virtuous of that long array of adulterers, madmen and murderers that have sat on the English throne.” – Connolly’s words of years ago as relevant as ever and the likes of Bernadette McAliskey, who still knocks out a great speech with ease.
My personal favourite included came courtesy of Jim Larkin but what do Slugger readers think are the greatest Irish speeches included or omitted and who are the greatest Irish speech makers for you?