Where to start with 1982? A cursory glance would show that Garret FitzGerald was Taoiseach on January 1st that year, and held the same office on December 31st. But what an abundance of incident in between! Two general elections; a government falling unexpectedly on a budget vote, and another losing a vote of confidence; two separate heaves against the leader of the country’s largest party; political scandals involving personation and interference with the Gardaí; alleged ‘collusion’ with police in another state to falsely imprison a witness; the arrest of a murderer in the Attorney-General’s flat; a post-election deal that worked, a by-election stroke that did not; and a general feeling that political life was being ‘scripted by a satirist of genius.’ In this lecture Dr. Séan Ó Duibhir will outline the background, and address a number of the key features, of what has been described as the ‘most dysfunctional government in Ireland’s history’.
Available to view on YouTube: https://youtu.be/F3gdGcd5j-0