The new book by journalist and author John Drennan will be launched with a twist at the Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on Thursday November 8 .
The book entitled ‘Standing by the Republic‘ is a compilation of fifty of the most important Dail debates in the state since 1948.
To mark the launch there will be a debate with well known panelists taking the floor to discuss the topic ‘Found Guilty By History? Now that Paddy knows the story, how do we re-build the Republic?’
The panel consists of John Drennan, Mary O`Rourke, former Fianna Fail TD and author of ‘Just Mary A Memoir’; Jack Carter, author of ‘Built Curiosities Of Laois’; and Fergal Toibin (aka Richard Killeen, who has written ‘Ireland in Brick and Stone’.
Speaking to the Leinster Express, John said that he was looking forward to a “gentle exchange of views” with Mary O’ Rourke.
“What we need to discuss is how we ended up in the land of ‘we are where we are’, and this is one event that might do that”, he said.
“Oliver J Flanagan is one of the stars of the book. Outside of Charles Haughey, Flanagan is the most quoted politician in the book. You could say that a consequence of the book is that we have unearthed a hidden star of Laois Offaly politics”, added John.
Some of the key debates covered in the book include Sean Lemass becomes Taoiseach June 23rd 1959, the Mother and Child Debate, the most dramatic debate was probably between Garrett Fitzgerald and Charles Haughey in which Fitzgerald warned of Haughey’s ‘flawed pedigree’ – December 11, 1979; and the arms trial debate which caused Haughey’s first fall from grace (Liam Cosgrave speech, May 8, 1970. The event begins at 8pm and all are welcome to attend.