Sunday 22 October 2017

Thirty years on, the 'PD story' has many lessons

Des O'Malley and Mary Harney at the Offices of the newly formed Progressive Democrats in 1985.
Des O'Malley and Mary Harney at the Offices of the newly formed Progressive Democrats in 1985.
John Downing

John Downing

Disillusionment with the established parties and old politics. A yearning for new leadership to enthuse people and give them hope that Ireland could change and do better.

We could be talking about December 2015, and in many ways we are. But, since it was on this very day 30 years ago that the Progressive Democrats launched, we are also talking about late December 1985.

Almost five years ago, the current Government swept into power and promised us an economic revival and a new way of ordering our affairs via vastly-reformed politics. In the ensuing five years, we have mercifully experienced a considerable economic revival - but 'new politics' have very definitely not happened.

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