I wouldn't think of Paisley as a political orator at all. He was just your typical fundamentalist religious eejit. There's a dozen of them in every little town in middle america who just spout everything through a pre programmed religious mindset rehashing biblical quotes written in the Middle East thousands of years ago. It\s a pretty generic format really. I wouldn't even classify it as oratory.
I had the privilege of hearing many of these people speak both in the Dail and publicly.
I only heard James Dillon speak towards the end of his parliamentary career. He was a brilliant orator, with a deep booming voice and a strong educated (posh, even) mid-Irish Sea accent. He regularly spoke un-scripted and used all the techniques of an orator - sophistry, theatrics, cadence, erudition, wit, volume, flourish and the slow tapping of his finger.
Dillon was a colossus who dominated his audience and such was the force of his personality that he attracted many a political foe just for the sheer pleasure of listening to him.
Only saw him in the latter years of his public life, he still had the ability to mesmerise, excite and rouse an audience.
A true Demosthenes.
Is there any accessible recording of the great James Dillon in action? I have heard how good he was, and was going to mention him to this effect, but apart from a short clip of him talking to camera on the Seven Ages programme, I have never heard him speaking. I would love to hear one of his great speeches.
I remember Robin Cook's resignation speech as Foreign Secretary. It was brilliant.
Please don't taint the memory of that great man by placing his name among the gombeen extraordinaires of the Republic!lol
Seriously though, Cooks resignation speech is incredible and is available on youtube for those curious. I have welled up once watching it, a true man of principle. On a side note despite his condascending technique of speaking William Hague is a comedic genius, check out his lampooning of Blair(regarding the EU presidency.
My two cent on the Irish orator would be Eamonn McCann from Derry. Diff politics from my own but great old skool communicator. Peace
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