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Strikes, concerts, nuclear disasters and no One Direction - that was 1986

ALEX Ferguson took over the reins at Manchester United in 1986.

Back then Margaret Thatcher was UK Prime Minister, Garret FitzGerald was our Taoiseach and Ronald Reagan was in the White House.

• Another Fergie got married – Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew in July.

More than 500 million people tuned in to watch the wedding at Westminster Abbey where notable guests included Michael Caine, Elton John, Estée Lauder and Nancy Reagan, the First Lady of the United States Married for just six years, they announced their separation in 1991 and divorced in 1996.

• The members of One Direction had yet to be born – and it will be seven more years before future pop star Niall Horan is born, on September 13, 1993, in Westmeath, Mullingar.

• U2 and the Boomtown Rats headlined the Self Aid telethon – which also featured legendary guitar man Rory Gallagher – in the RDS in Dublin as jobless figure reached 250,000.

The 14-hour concert was the largest that had ever been staged in Ireland and ended with a finale tribute to Thin Lizzy singer Phil Lynott who had died just four months earlier.

• New airline Ryanair obtained permission to challenge British Airways and Aer Lingus on the Dublin-London route.

Services are launched with two (46-seater) turbo prop BAE748 aircraft.

The launch fare of £99 return is less than half the price of the current BA/Aer Lingus lowest return fare of £209.

l 1986 was also the year of the Challenger disaster. Seven people died on board the space shuttle in a disaster that schocked the world.

• At Chernob, Ukraine, in the Soviet Union, a nuclear reactor exploded. It was the world's worst civil nuclear disaster.

• Belfast man Brian Keenan was kidnapped in the Lebanon. He remained a hostage for four years with his memoir of his captivity, An Evil Cradling, going on to become an international best seller.

• Hurricane Charlie reached Ireland in August.

The East and Southeast were worst hit, causing the worst flooding in the history of Dublin.

• Corporation workers go on strike, with rubbish piling up on the streets of Dublin.

• Ireland went to the polls on proposals to introduce divorce.

Voters rejected the divorce move by a total of 935,844 to 538,279.

The Biggest hits of 1986:

Simply Red: Holding Back The Years

Dire Straits: Walk Of Life

The Waterboys: Whole Of The Moon

Billy Ocean: When The Going Gets Tough.

The Smiths: Panic

A-ha: The Sun Always Shines on TV

New Order: Bizarre Love Triangle New Order

Erasure: Sometimes