Ireland is our Disgrace – De Valera Founds Fianna Fail – Josef Locke at Today in Irish History

March 23: TODAY in Irish History:

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Fianna Fail Founder Eamonn De Valera
Eamonn De Valera

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.

WATCH: A Short History of Ireland




1846: Ireland is our disgrace

Henry George Grey, 3rd Earl Grey speaks in the House of Lords on the state of Ireland and accepts that “Ireland is our disgrace.”

Earl Grey 1802-1894
Earl Grey 1802-1894

“The evils of that unhappy country are not accidental, not temporary, but chronic and habitual. The state of Ireland is one which is notorious. We know the ordinary condition of that country to be one both of lawlessness and wretchedness. It is so described by every competent authority.

There is not an intelligent foreigner coming to our shores, who turns his attention to the state of Ireland, but who bears back with him such a description. Ireland is the one weak place in the solid fabric of British power—Ireland is the one deep (I had almost said ineffaceable) blot upon the brightness of British honour.

Ireland is our disgrace. It is the reproach, the standing disgrace, of this country, that Ireland remains in the condition she is. It is so regarded throughout the whole civilized world. To ourselves we may palliate it if we will, and disguise the truth; but we cannot conceal it from others. There is not, as I have said, a foreigner—no matter whence he comes, be it from France, Russia, Germany, or America—there is no native of any foreign country different as their forms of government may be, who visits Ireland, and who on his return does not congratulate himself that he sees nothing comparable with the condition of that country at home.

If such be the state of things, how then does it arise, and what is its cause? My Lords, it is only by misgovernment that such evils could have been produced: the mere fact that Ireland is in so deplorable and wretched a condition saves whole volumes of argument, and is of itself a complete and irrefutable proof of the misgovernment to which she has been subjected.”

READ: Earl Grey speech at Hansard

1917: Tenor Josef Locke

Singer Josef Locke 11917-1999
Singer Josef Locke 11917-1999

Josef Locke (born Joseph McLaughlin), one of Ireland’s most popular tenors ever is born in Derry.

Locke was a staple on Irish TV variety shows during the 60’s singing with an engaging enthusiasm songs such as Hear My Song, Violetta,  probably his most popular work and I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen, Dear Old Donegal, Galway Bay and The Isle of Innisfree.


1926: Fianna Fail Founded by Eamonn De Valera

Fianna Fail Founder Eamonn De Valera
Fianna Fail Founder Eamonn De Valera

The official Fianna Fail website states:

The Fianna Fáil Party evolved from Ireland’s struggle for independence. Fianna Fáil was founded by Eamon de Valera on 23 March 1926. The party’s name, Fianna Fáil – the Republican Party, was adopted on 2 April 1926. The name Fianna Fáil had a double purpose: it suggested continuity with recent history (as the Irish name for the Volunteers) and also with ancient Irish history. The name Fianna Fáil means ‘soldiers of destiny’ and is taken from Old Irish. The Fianna were the warriors of Fionn Mac Cumhaill – the title emphasised the party’s deep roots over millennia in the historic Irish nation.

The first general congress (Árd Fheis) of the Fianna Fáil Party took place in November 1926. De Valera pledged the Party to pursue the ending of partition and the peaceful re-unification of the country. The Árd Fheis laid down Fianna Fáil’s constitution and aims (which were updated in 1995). These were:

  1. To secure the unity and independence of Ireland as a Republic.
  2. To restore the Irish language as the spoken language of the people, and to develop a distinctive national life in accordance with Irish traditions and ideals.
  3. To make the resources and wealth of Ireland subservient to the needs and welfare of all the people of Ireland.
  4. To make Ireland, as far as possible, economically self-contained and self-sufficing.
  5. To establish as many families as practicable on the land.
  6. By suitable distribution of power to promote the ruralisation of industries essential to the lives of the people as opposed to their concentration in cities.
  7. To carry out the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil.


1971:Brian Faulkner Elected Leader of Unionist Party

Tensions continue to rise in Northern Ireland. Following the resignation of Prime Minister James Chichester Clark on March 20th, Brian Faulkner is elected leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. He would be Northern Ireland’s last Prime Minister as the British government would introduce direct rule in 1972 in response to a worsening security situation.

Brian Faulkner N.I. Prime Minister



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Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)


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