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Bernadette Devlin

  • To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.

  • I think my life will always be worth living, though I don't imagine it being very easy.

  • Should an anthropologist or a sociologist be looking for a bizarre society to study, I would suggest he come to Ulster. It is one of Europe's oddest countries. Here, in the middle of the twentieth century, with modern technology transforming everybody's lives, you find a medieval mentality that is being dragged painfully into the eighteenth century by some forward-looking people.

  • But I make a distinction between the doctrines of the Church, which matter, and the structure invented by half a dozen Italians who got to be pope and which is of very little use to anybody.

  • Among the best traitors Ireland has ever had, Mother Church ranks at the very top, a massive obstacle in the path to equality and freedom.

  • Free love is too expensive.

  • The Irish aren't great singers, but they have great songs.

  • Policemen always call me a stupid bitch, and I deny that I'm stupid.

  • There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents — if the term is to be used at all.

    • Bernadette Devlin,
    • in The Irish Times ()
  • I'm not good enough to be a saint and not bad enough to be interesting.

    • Bernadette Devlin,
    • in Canada Jessup, ed., Wisdom of Women ()
  • Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.

    • Bernadette Devlin,
    • in Gina Sigillito, The Daughters of Maeve ()
  • Everyone's struggle for justice usually begins with one's own suffering.

    • Bernadette Devlin,
    • in The Catholic Worker ()

Bernadette Devlin, Irish politician, activist


Full name: Josephine Bernadette Devlin McAliskey.