Thursday 12 December 2019

A decade of naff awfulness recalled in black and white

An Taoiseach Charles Haughey TD introduces his daughter Eimear to the Edge and Bono at a reception to welcome U2 home after a highly successful tour of America.
An Taoiseach Charles Haughey TD introduces his daughter Eimear to the Edge and Bono at a reception to welcome U2 home after a highly successful tour of America.
Galway West Labour Party TD Michael D Higgins arrives at Leinster House, accompanied by his wife Sabina.
The 1980s. Ireland In Pictures

John Spain

It was a decade of perms, leg warmers and shoulder pads.

It was only 30 years ago, but the Eighties now look like another era altogether.

The latest picture book from O'Brien Press features the Eighties in Ireland in all their naff awfulness.

On telly we were glued to 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty'. We were stunned by new high-tech innovations like home computers and the Sony Walkman.

And in early 1981, we watched the first space shuttle take off.

It was a turbulent decade in the North - 10 hunger strikers, including Bobby Sands, starved themselves to death in the Maze in 1981. But the signing of the Anglo Irish Agreement in 1985 gave Ireland a say in how the North was run and brought new hopes of peace.

In the Republic, the biggest news story of the decade was the Stardust nightclub fire in 1981 in which 48 young people died.

The 1980s were an economically- depressed time here, with up to 40,000 people emigrating every year.

But the pictures in the book also show happier times, like the cover image of the return of Big Jack and his Boys in Green after Euro 88.

All the pictures in the book - like the others in the decades series - come from the Lensmen Photographic Archive. The Lensmen agency recently celebrated 60 years in business.

'The 1980s: Ireland in Pictures' is published this week by O'Brien Press.

All images featured in the book are available to purchase from www.irishphotoarchive.ie

Irish Independent

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