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FG's previous periods in power dominated by economic problems

THE incoming government will take over a country mired in financial crisis and tied to a multi-billion-euro bailout from IMF/EU.

But economic difficulties have dominated Fine Gael governments throughout its near 80-year history. Here are some of the party's previous terms in power:

1994-1997: John Bruton led the rainbow coalition with Labour and Democratic Left without an election after the Fianna Fail/Labour coalition collapsed. Divorce was legalised, the economy thrived and a 12.5pc corporation tax rate was introduced and there was a Budget surplus.

1982 -1987: Recession, high unemployment and emigration dominated Irish society. Fine Gael joined forces with Labour but they clashed on how to tackle the downturn. Labour pulled out in year five over the Budget.

1981-1982: Backed by Labour and independents, the party took control in June with the country mired in an economic crisis and facing a mid-year draconian budget. The coalition was short-lived, collapsing after seven months, after then Finance Minister John Bruton's ill-judged plan to tax children's shoes.

1973 -1978: Fine Gael and Labour coalition after 16 years of Fianna Fail. Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave crossed the Dail floor to vote against the legalisation of contraception in 1974. Then Finance Minister Richie Ryan was dubbed 'Richie Ruin' for his unpopular budget measures including Capital Gains Tax.

Irish Independent