Dr Garret FitzGerald Memorial Lecture 2016
In the fifth lecture given on Wednesday evening (21 Sept) in the College Hall, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Professor
Brigid Laffan's theme was In Defence of the State: Fractious Politics in Hard Times .
The focus of Professor Laffan’s lecture is on Irish government and politics, on the Irish state and its uneven capacities, one hundred years after the 1916 Rising. The essence of her argument rests on two pillars. First, she argues that the Irish state was not found wanting in hard times and that ‘a relatively small cadre of politicians and public servants embedded in Ireland’s institutions found the political and institutional capacity to address the countries’ myriad problems, to bring Ireland back from the brink’. Second, she asks if we have learnt lessons from the ‘bad times’ and whether our political system has developed sufficient capacity to guard against the pathologies of the past. More