Saturday 21 April 2018

That '70s Show - in Ireland!

It was the decade of big hair, flared trousers and floral shirts – and that was just the men. Ireland in the 1970s was a bit like the popular American TV series That '70s Show.

Now the fashion era we'd all like to forget is on show again in a new book from O'Brien Press called The 1970s: Ireland in Pictures.

Among the highlights is a young Enda Kenny, complete with long hair and floral shirt under his pinstripe suit, arriving for his first day as a new deputy in the Dáil on November 18, 1975.

Also in the book is Dana pictured on the plane bringing her home after her win in the Eurovision Song Contest in March 1970. It was Ireland's first victory in the contest and she is about to tuck into a cake to celebrate.

There are many other shots from the big events of the decade, although the pictures that best sum up the era are the candid shots from minor happenings.

An example is the picture from June 1979 of the launch in St James's Gate in Dublin of Guinness Light, the new, lighter version of the world famous stout. This featured a row of 'Alien Girls' in revealing space suits about to distribute the new drink to the mainly middle-aged male onlookers who are almost as uncomfortable as the young women. The ill-fated Guinness Light did not prove popular and ultimately was phased out.

All the pictures in the book are from the Lensmen photo agency which was set up in 1952 and is still going strong. The 1970s: Ireland in Pictures, published by The O'Brien Press, is available now at €14.99 from bookshops nationwide.

Books Editor John Spain

Irish Independent

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