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A great opportunityhas been missed to build a real inclusive republic in Ireland - Michael D Higgins

Posted on January 26, 2011 at 06:56 PM

Last night Michael D Higgins made his last speech in the Dáil - below is a short extract.

"Since I was a child in County Clare I have had a belief in the power of education and in the power of ideas. However, I believe an enormously high price has been paid for a kind of anti-intellectualism and authoritarianism in Irish culture. Therefore, I believe we need to draw one conclusion. We need not suggest that that which has failed us should or can be repaired.

"This is why the Labour Party is incredibly important in leading a government. We need to go back and recover the promise of a real republic that would be built on citizenship and that would reject as outrageous in a republic the kind of radical individualism epitomised in that ugly statement of Michael McDowell's that inequality is needed for the stability of society.

"It ranks with the mad Margaret Thatcher view that there is no such thing as society. It stands there as such a notion. People should have seen immediately how incongruous it was to speak like this with the language of radical individualism."

The full transcript of Michael D's speech can not only be viewed in the accompanying video but you can also read it in our media centre.

In case you are not aware Michael D is on Twitter and Facebook.

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