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Wednesday 22 March 2023 Dublin: 6°C

# State Papers

All time
# State Papers
Mountjoy prisoners segregated in 1986 after 20% diagnosed with Aids antibodies
An internal document reported 33 male prisoners and 10 female prisoners had been identified as having Aids antibodies.
# lovely fags ban
Ireland tried to ban smoking in public in 1986 - and Big Tobacco was not impressed
1986 saw government health warnings introduced on tobacco products in Ireland for the first time.
# padre free-o
Government urged to help free priest charged with murder of Filipino mayor
Fr Niall O’Brien was arrested in 1983 over the death of a local politician.
# there you go
Aran sweaters, Avoca rugs and Waterford Crystal Statue of Liberty: Gifts Taoiseach gave Ronald Reagan
Reagan said the Waterford Crystal Statue of Liberty would be displayed permanently in the Statue of Liberty Museum.
# hello boys and girls
'It outsold U2' - an album of Bosco songs was one of RTÉ's biggest hits in 1984
Did you have Bosco Sings in your house?
# what's the big idea?
'Sell water to Saudi Arabia and turf to England': A Londoner's advice to Garret FitzGerald
William Long, from Essex, wrote to the then Taoiseach with his plans for Irish trade.
# sudden spike
1986: The levels of radioactive material in Irish water, milk and vegetables following Chernobyl
Arrangements were made to impound any produce which showed unacceptable levels of contamination.
# State Papers
1986: Mother of four abused by husband writes letter to Taoiseach outlining need for divorce
“God never intended continual punishment for one mistake.”
# 1986
Irish politicians really wanted Bob Geldof to win the Nobel Peace Prize
It didn’t happen for Bob though.
# pen pals
A Donegal child wrote a letter to Garret FitzGerald in 1984 having a sly dig at Charlie Haughey
“I don’t like the way Charlie is doing it”.
# Nuke the Wales
The Welsh were worried that Ireland would become home to nuclear weapons
It didn’t happen in the end.
# 1986 state papers
Government investigated whether Josef Mengele spent time in Ireland after World War II
The Nazi war criminal was suspected to have spent six weeks in Ireland under an assumed name
# divine argument
'A punishment from God's own hand' - the Irish got Biblical in their objections to 1985's contraception law
The 1985 Family Planning Act saw contraceptives made legal for over-18s without a prescription from selected outlets for the first time.
# norris v ireland
Government considered using 'AIDS argument' in David Norris gay rights case
In battling David Norris’ claims that Irish homosexuality laws were in breach of his human rights, the government was considering all kinds of defences.
# well pleased
Enda fan wrote to 1986 Taoiseach to say people in the west happy with Kenny's latest appointment
The letter was sent from Drimnagh in Dublin.
# sea war
The IRA bombing of two ships led to an Irish/British dispute over territorial waters
The border in Lough Foyle caused some serious debate.
# Dark Past
How a notorious Nazi war criminal was banned from his picturesque Waterford hideaway
Rumours about looted art in the Kilmacthomas estate persisted for years.
# you shall not pass
The government was very concerned with bike tyres in 1985
Important business…
# belfast bunfight
Margaret Thatcher wanted to crush Loyalist strikers just like she did the miners
The UK Prime Minister was determined not to let them take down the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
# damned aerobics
Ireland was terrified that exercise could be the end of us all in the early 1980s...
Aerobics in particular. And not just because of the 80s legwarmers.
# patron saint
Does St Patrick deserve his own flag? An enterprising Kerryman thought he did
The government wouldn’t support the idea.
# State Papers
Glenroe, Dallas and Today Tonight - The top 10 programmes Ireland was watching in 1985
Some things never change with The Late Late Show coming out on top.
# dev's car
An English car enthusiast made a play for Eamon de Valera's Rolls Royce in 1985
Ten years after his death Ireland still wasn’t at all sure what was to be done with Dev’s classic car.
# 1985
Dublin planning officer: More pubs will reduce drink driving as people wouldn't have as far to travel
The planning officer for Dublin city and country wanted the one mile restriction between pubs abolished in favour of half mile limits.
# donegal dodginess
The great Donegal postal voting scam of 1985
An enormous scam to rig postal voting in the north-western county took place. Fortunately, the scammers weren’t all that subtle…
# no qualms
This letter is most blatant Big Tobacco threat to a Taoiseach you're likely to see
Carroll Industries threatened to stop investing in businesses if new laws come in
# not impressed
The man who let the Taoiseach know exactly what he thought about Jack the Ripper being Irish
Talk about tarring us all with the same brush.
# that's how we roll
That time an Irish minister got the UK's Northern Secretary so hammered he had to be walked around a park
Douglas Hurd struggled to keep up with our own Peter Barry it seems.
# Mansion House
Garret FitzGerald really, really did not like Sinn Féin in 1985
The then Taoiseach even reached out to his nemesis Charles Haughey in an attempt to stymie Gerry Adams’ party.
# off you go so
Irish prisons ran out of overtime cash in 1984 - so they started letting prisoners go early
The process was known as ‘shedding’.
# terror blaze
State Papers 1985: Garret Fitzgerald's government wasn't too keen on helping Stardust victims
An official wanted a redress scheme kept well away from the Taoiseach’s department.
# State Papers
30 years ago, Dublin was a crime-riddled joyrider's paradise
The damage being done with stolen cars in particular had the population terrified.
Governor warned of potential 'bloodbath' among IRA prisoners if rubber bullets were removed
The government wanted to stop using them as part of efforts to rid them from Northern Ireland.
# 1985 state papers
'Say the daily rosary': This is the kind of fan mail you get when you're Taoiseach
Garret Fitzgerald got quite a bit when he signed the Anglo-Irish agreement.
# State Papers
Irish people really didn't like paying for their TV licence 30 years ago
The government needed to make savings in 1985, and RTE was very much in the firing line.
# Anglo-Irish Agreement
'It wasn't long after the hunger strikes... mayhem on the streets and we realised that something had to be done.'
Former Tánaiste Dick Spring talks about the tensions and troubles of 1985.
# someone's listening
The government wanted to launch a phone-tapping bill in 1985...
And they were very worried about the legal ramifications of it.
# Oliver Letwin
David Cameron adviser apologises over 'offensive' 1985 memo about black rioters
The memo was sent to the then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher back in 1985.
# a just war?
An Archbishop, a Taoiseach and an angry face-off over IRA violence and 'genocide'
Garret Fitzgerald said the New York meeting was the most tense he has as Taoiseach outside Ireland.
# Apartheid
30 years ago Dunnes Stores was involved in ANOTHER workers' dispute... one that shook the world
The protest of Dunnes workers against South Africa’s apartheid regime was one of the most compelling stories of 1985.