John F Kennedy's speech to Irish parliament the greatest ever says Enda Kenny
Ireland's Prime Minister nominates Dublin speech as most powerful
For self-determination can no longer mean isolation; and the achievement of national independence today means withdrawal from the old status only to return to the world scene with a new one. New nations can build with their former governing powers the same kind of fruitful relationship that Ireland has established with Great Britain—a relationship founded on equality and mutual interests. And no nation, large or small, can be indifferent to the fate of others, near or far. Modern economics, weapons and communications have made us realise more than ever that we are one human family and this one planet is our home. “The world is large,” wrote John Boyle O’Reilly, “The world is large when its weary leagues two loving hearts divide, but the world is small when your enemy is loose on the other side.”
The world is even smaller today, though the enemy of John Boyle O’Reilly is no longer a hostile power.
Indeed, across the gulfs and barriers that now divide us, we must remember that there are no permanent enemies. Hostility today is a fact, but it is not a ruling law. The supreme reality of our time is our indivisibility as children of God and our common vulnerability on this planet.
Some may say that all this means little to Ireland. In an age when “history moves with the tramp of earthquake feet,” in an age when a handful of men and nations have the power literally to devastate mankind, in an age when the needs of the developing nations are so large and staggering that even the richest nations often groan with the burden of assistance— in such an age, it may be asked, how can a nation as small as Ireland play much of a role on the world stage?
I would remind those who ask that question, including those in other small countries, of these words of one of the great orators of the English language:
All the world owes much to the little “five feet high” nations. The greatest art of the world was the work of little nations. The most enduring literature of the world came from little nations. The heroic deeds that thrill humanity through generations were the deeds of little nations fighting for their freedom. And, oh, yes, the salvation of mankind came through a little nation.
Ireland has already set an example and a standard for other small nations to follow. This has never been a rich or powerful country, and, yet, since earliest times, its influence on the world has been rich and powerful. No larger nation did more to keep Christianity and Western culture alive in their darkest centuries. No larger nation did more to spark the cause of American independence, and independence, indeed, around the world. And no larger nation has ever provided the world with more literary and artistic genius.
This is an extraordinary country. George Bernard Shaw, speaking as an Irishman, summed up an approach to life: “Other peoples,” he said, “see things and say: `Why?’ … But I dream things that never were—and I say: `Why not?”’
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Mandela would have sold his Soul to have kept the support of the Western Media. The Republican Irish were not fighting Racist Apartheid; They were wagGay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay bigots
Lol, check out the comments below. The rural culchies and donkeys are getting their panties in a bunch over this. Bocktherobber takes the cake though,An open letter in strong defence of capitalism to Pope Francis
Curitiba - Thank you. I know. In the US, however and in Ireland where I live part time, a surprising number of people do not realise that.A Magdalene Laundry US adoptee who holds no hatred for Irish nuns
It is very convenient to engage in "Monday Morning Quarterbacking". It is also quite convenient to kick uniformed nuns in the "breadba