Monday 19 November 2018

We're far from a perfect society, but don't compare it to the 1980s

Baby John’s grave on Valentia. Picture: Don Macmonagle
Baby John’s grave on Valentia. Picture: Don Macmonagle
Ian O'Doherty

Ian O'Doherty

It's often said that the past is another country, and when it comes to this place in the 1980s, that country may as well have been Albania.

To many Irish people in their forties, just the mention of the phrase 'Kerry Babies scandal' is enough to bring us back to growing up in a black-and-white society while the rest of the world seemed to have gone full Technicolour.

While the decade may have ended with the optimism brought by the collapse of communism, the opening of the Iron Curtain and a general, if brief, sense that the world was finally becoming a better place, the Ireland of 1984 owed more to the 1950s than the 1990s which followed.

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