Sadly this building has recently been lost to a fire under suspicious circumstances, and was then unfortunately demolished.
Early life[ edit ] Garret FitzGerald was born in Dublin ininto a very politically active family. His mother Mabel McConnell Fitzgerald was involved in politics and it was through her that his father became political.
Desmond FitzGerald was born in London and raised.
He was Minister for External Affairs at the time of his son's birth. FitzGerald's mother, the former Mabel Washington McConnell, was a nationalist and republican of Ulster Protestant descent, although some sources[ which?
Their children were JohnMary, Mark and Desmond. During this time he wrote many newspaper articles, was the Irish correspondent for British magazine The Economist and was encouraged to write on National Accounts and economics by the Features Editor in The Irish Times.
He attached himself to the liberal wing of Fine Gael, which rallied around the Just Society programme written by Declan Costello. He became an important figure almost immediately in the parliamentary party and his liberal ideas were seen as a counterweight to the conservative leader, Liam Cosgrave.
Difference in political outlook, and FitzGerald's ambitions for the Fine Gael leadership resulted in profound tensions[ citation needed ] between the two men. In his leadership address to the Fine Gael ard fheis in Cork,[ citation needed ] Cosgrave referred to the 'mongrel foxes' who should be rooted out of the party, a reference seen by many as an attack on FitzGerald's efforts to unseat him as leader.
FitzGerald hoped  that he would take over as Minister for Finance, particularly after a good performance in a pre-election debate with the then Minister for Finance George Colley.
It was a case of history repeating itself as FitzGerald's father had held that post in a government led by Liam Cosgrave's father W. Cosgravefifty years earlier. Cosgrave was suspicious of FitzGerald's liberal ideas and believed that he had designs on the leadership.
During his period at Foreign Affairs, Fitzgerald developed a good relationship with Liam Cosgrave and all the tension that had existed between them in opposition disappeared. FitzGerald, firmly ensconced as Foreign Minister, was free from any blame due to other Ministers' mishandling of the economy.
If anything, his tenure at the Department of Foreign Affairs helped him to eventually achieve the leadership of the party.
His innovative views, energy and fluency in French won him — and through him, Ireland — a status in European affairs far exceeding the country's size and ensured that the first Irish Presidency of the European Council in was a noted success. FitzGerald in met Cardinal Secretary of State Agostino Casaroliand proposed to further modify the Republic's Constitution to remove laws with overtly Catholic foundations, such as the bans on divorce and contraception, as well as to relax the public stigmas in Northern Ireland towards mixed religious marriages and integrated education.
Casaroli at first seemed receptive, and the Government formally submitted the proposal to the Vatican.
FitzGerald's vision caused great consternation among the church's hierarchy, however, and inPope Paul VI personally met with FitzGerald to tell him that "Ireland was a Catholic country — perhaps the only one left — and it should stay that way.
Laws should not be changed in any way that would make the country less Catholic. Liam Cosgrave resigned as party leader and FitzGerald was chosen by acclamation to succeed him.
Under FitzGerald, Fine Gael experienced a rapid rise in support and popularity. FitzGerald was elected Taoiseach, on 30 June Two fundamental problems faced FitzGerald during his first period: Northern Ireland and the worsening economic situation.
A protest march in support of the H-Block hunger strikers in Julywas harshly dealt with by FitzGerald.
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WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. Exactly what I needed. - Jenna Kraig, student @ UCLA. In April , Irish republicans launched the Easter Rising against British rule and proclaimed an Irish Republic.
Although it was crushed after a week of fighting, the rising and the British response led to greater popular support for Irish independence. In the December election, the republican party Sinn Féin won a landslide victory in Ireland.