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Changing governments 1977 1982 revision

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5 Different governments in Ireland from 1977-1982

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Changing governments 1977 1982 revision

  1. 1. 1977 General Election • Fianna Fail promised to abolish local rates and car tax • Outgoing Fine Gael / Labour government defended their record • Government’s record was one of austerity • Tensions within Labour over coalition
  2. 2. 1977 General Election • Result • Fianna Fail 85 seats (+15) • Fine Gael 43 seats (-11) • Labour 17 seats (-2) • Independents 4 seats (+2) • Tullymander was a disaster for the outgoing government
  3. 3. Fianna Fail government • Jack Lynch – Taoiseach • Charles Haughey – Minister for Health – rehabilitated after Arms Crisis • Garrett Fitzgerald becomes Fine Gael leader • Frank Cluskey becomes Labour leader
  4. 4. Fianna Fail in Government • Rates are abolished • Car Tax is abolished but will be re-introduced in a few years • Government increases public spending by increasing borrowing
  5. 5. Dept of Economic Planning and Development • Minister Martin O’Donoghue produces a three year economic plan • The plan is wildly optimistic By 1981 Issue Projection Actual Growth 5% 2.6% Inflation less than 5% 20.4% Unemployment 50,000 147,000
  6. 6. 1979 Oil Crisis • Economic Plan was significantly impacted by the ‘Second Oil Crisis’ • International tensions after a revolution in Iran led to cuts in oil production • Oil prices more than doubled leading to high inflation • Crisis had a significant impact on Irish economy
  7. 7. • In December 1978 Ireland applied to join the European Monetary System (E.M.S.) • Britain decided to remain outside the EMS • For the first time since 1826 the Irish and British currencies were not equal in value • Also impacted on Irish economy • By 1980 the Irish pound was worth 80p Sterling E.M.S.
  8. 8. • Strike wave in Ireland • 18 week long bus strike • 19 week long post office strike • Violence on the picket lines • Army used to replace bus service Crisis in Government
  9. 9. • Rising protests against the government’s taxation policy • March 1979 • http://www.rte.ie/archives/exhibitions/1861-strikes-pic • 150,000 participated in Dublin • 40,000 in Cork – tens of thousands in 30 other protests around the country Crisis in Government
  10. 10. • Fianna Fail did badly in the 1979 European Elections • With government popularity declining many FF TDs felt they would lose their seats in the following election • When FF lost two by-elections in Cork Lynch was forced to resign • Battle within FF to replace Lynch as leader • Charles Haughey 44 votes – George Colley 38 • Ongoing deep divisions within FF Lynch is Removed as Taoiseach
  11. 11. • September 1979 Pope John Paul II visited Ireland • The first pope ever • Regarded as having a charismatic personality • He visited Dublin, Drogheda, Limerick, Knock and Galway • 1 million attended mass in the Phoenix Park • Youth mass in Galway • Stressed traditional values and called for opposition to divorce and abortion • Regarded as the last example of traditional Catholic influence in Ireland Papal Visit
  12. 12. • Economy in crisis • Haughey makes a ‘state of the nation’ address on RTE • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoXYTHlWXvQ • With an election due the Fianna Fail government tried to buy support Haughey in Power
  13. 13. • Ongoing crisis in the North • 1979 Maggie Thatcher elected Prime Minister in Britain • Hardline Tory • Ongoing talks between British and Irish governments • Haughey and Thatcher developed a ‘good relationship’ • Difficulties caused by Hunger Strikes Haughey in Power
  14. 14. IRA prisoners • Initially granted special category status • British government withdraw special category status in 1976 • IRA prisoners go ‘on the blanket’ • 1978 – protest escalated to the ‘dirty protest’ • 1980 7 IRA prisoners go on hunger strike • Ends after 53 days following promises from British Government
  15. 15. 1981 Hunger Strike • Prisoners were housed in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh • Bobby Sands elected to Parliament while on hunger strike • 10 prisoners die before hunger strike called off • Election of Sands leads Sinn Fein and IRA to look at more political activity as well as the military campaign
  16. 16. • Haughey intended to call an election in early 1981 • On 14 February 1918 a fire broke out in the Stardust dancehall killing 48 young people • The Northern hunger strikes further delayed the election • Eventaully held in June 1981 • FF promised more spending – FG promised tax cuts • Ongoing crisis and the hunger strikes were to impact on the election 1981 Election
  17. 17. 1981 General Election • Result • Fianna Fail 78 seats (-6) • Fine Gael 65 seats (+18) • Labour 15 seats (-2) • Anti-H-blocks 2 seats (+2) • Sinn Fein, the Workers Party 1 seat (+1) • Socialist Labour Party 1 seat • Independents 4 seats (NC)
  18. 18. 1981 General Election • Fine Gael benefitted from the increased number of seats • Two IRA prisoners were elected • Kieran Doherty died on 2 August 1981 • Fianna Fail lost seats because of votes for anti-H-blocks candidates • Among independents elected was Jim Kemmy in Limerick
  19. 19. Coalition government • Fine Gael and Labour form a coalition government with the support of Independents • Garret Fitzgerald – Taoiseach • Michael O’Leary – Taniste • Economy now in crisis • ‘much worse than we expected’ • Government implements austerity
  20. 20. Collapse of Government • In Jan 1982 John Bruton, Minister for Finance, introduces a severe austerity budget • Includes introduction of VAT on childrens shoes • Jim Kemmy and Joe Sherlock (SFWP) vote against the budget and the government collapses • Fianna Fail attempt to get President Hillary to refuse to dissolve the Dail • Dail is dissolved and an election in Feb 1982
  21. 21. Feb 1982 Election • FG and LP campaign on the need for ‘strict control of public finances’ • FF claim they are spreading ‘doom and gloom’ • During the campaign FF also adopt austerity • ‘There is no alternative’
  22. 22. Feb 1982 Election • Result • Fianna Fail 81 seats (+3) • Fine Gael 63 seats (-2) • Labour 15 seats (NC) • Sinn Fein, the Workers Party 3 seats (+2) • Independents 4 seats (NC)
  23. 23. The Gregory Deal • Fianna Fail are 3 seats short of a majority • Sinn Fein the Workers Party agree to support Haughey for Taoiseach • Haughey negotiates the ‘Gregory Deal’ with Independent TD Tony Gregory for his support • The ‘Gregory Deal’ involves massive government spending in Gregory’s constituency • FF are in power but the government is unstable
  24. 24. Fianna Fail in Power • Fianna Fail offer the job of European Commissioner to Fine Gael TD Richard Burke. • Burke accepts and resigns his seat in the Dail • FF expect to win the by-election to bolster their position in the Dail • But – FG win it seat – Haughey’s gamble backfires • Increases the instability of the government
  25. 25. GUBU • A public scandal broke in August 1982 • A serial killer Malcolm MacArthur was found hiding in the house of the Attorney General • Crisis nearly collapsed the government • Haughey called the incident ‘grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented’ • The acromyn GUBU was later used to describe the style of government by Haughey
  26. 26. Government Collapses • Deep divisions now exist in FF between the pro-Haughey and anti-Haughey factions • In October 1982 Fianna Fail publishes an economic plan ‘The Way Forward’ • In reality a further programme of austerity cuts • SFWP and Gregory withdraw their support for the government and it collapses
  27. 27. Nov 1982 Election • Haughey attacks Fitzgerald for being pro-British and pro-RUC • Haughey had been critical of Thatcher over the Falklands War • FG and LP focussed on the economy • Abortion becomes and issue • The ‘Pro-Life Campaign’ force all the main parties to agree to hold a referendum to write a ban on abortion into the constitution • TDs panic – believing they would lose votes if they refused to back the referendum

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