Cosgrave, justice and the IRA threat
In his first speech to Dail Eireann as Taoiseach and leader of Fine Gael Liam Cosgrave touched on many of the "social ills" which are still issues of concern to the great majority of people here and in most Western democracies.
In that speech, on Wednesday, March 14, 1973, he sought co-operation for his government to "move towards the sort of society we hope to achieve", to reform health and social welfare legislation, to reform education, to remedy the social ills which "still affect many sections in our community", such as, he said, defective housing, lack of adequate employment as well as other inequalities.
He hoped that his Government would be "indelibly marked with justice" demonstrated by a concern for the people and by the enactment of good laws governing the relations of the people with each other. Above all, he said, the first requirement of justice was that order and security were maintained and preserved: "What sort of society is there if violence is tolerated, not merely political violence but every other sort of violence, if violence is allowed to lead to loss of life or limb or liberty and the obscenity of war - scarred streets and a cowed and intimidated community seeking an existence on the edge of the abyss of anarchy and civil war? Patiently and wisely I hope, peace must be sought and established and with it the stimulation, hope and joy which the eager search for justice may bring on a generous scale."