1982 Anatomy of a year


October- December


Charlie McCreevy’s “no confidence” motion in taoiseach Charlie Haughey is defeated in a roll call vote of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party by 58 to 22. Des O’Malley and Martin O’Donoghue resign from the cabinet before the vote is taken.

The centenary of the birth of Éamon de Valera is celebrated.

A bronze head of James Joyce is unveiled at UCD.

American carmaker John DeLorean is arrested in Los Angeles on drug offence charges, just hours after the British government announces that it is closing the Northern Ireland plant that manufactured his iconic sports car. The project had received £80 million in aid but the car failed to sell in profitable numbers. DeLorean claimed the drug deal was to generate capital for his motor company, and two years later he was found not guilty because of entrapment.

Northern Ireland assembly elections take place (Official Unionists 26, DUP 21, SDLP 14, Alliance 10, Sinn Féin 5, UUUP 2).

The assembly meets for the first time on November 11th but the SDLP and Sinn Féin boycott it.

Séamus Mallon is later unseated as the elected assembly member for Armagh because he is a member of Seanad Éireann.

Three Irish soldiers are shot dead in Lebanon. A fourth soldier, 21-year-old Michael McAleavey, is later arrested and convicted with the killing of Cpl Gregory Morrow, Pte Thomas Murphy and Pte Peter Burke. McAleavey was freed in March 2010 after serving 27 years of a life sentence.

Top of the charts:Pass the Dutchie (Musical Youth)


Dick Spring is elected leader of the Labour Party, beating Michael D Higgins by 12 votes to two. Michael O’Leary resigned the post four days earlier and then joined Fine Gael.

The government loses a confidence vote in the Dáil. President Hillery, on the advice of taoiseach Charles Haughey, dissolves the 23rd Dáil.

Vincent Browne buys the Sunday Tribune title ahead of another relaunch.

Second general election of the year takes place. The result: Fianna Fáil, 75; Fine Gael, 70; Labour, 16, Workers’ Party, 2; Others, 3.

The European Court of Justice finds the “Buy Irish” campaign to be in breach of the EEC Treaty. It says the campaign, discriminated against importers of goods from other EEC member states.

Top of the charts:Do you Really Want to Hurt me? (Culture Club) and I Don’t Wanna Dance (Eddy Grant)


Grafton Street in Dublin becomes a pedestrianised area. At a Christmas-themed ceremony featuring the Garda Band and Loreto Girls’ Choir, lord mayor Dan Browne declared the “war” between pedestrians and vehicles was over. The changeover cost of £70,000 was mostly spent on modifying traffic islands and installing traffic lights.

Ballykelly disco bombing: The INLA kills 17 people in a bomb attack at the Droppin’ Well Inn, Ballykelly, Co Derry. (In June 1986, four INLA members, Anna Moore, Eamon Moore, Helena Semple and Patrick Shotter were sentenced for the attack.)

Labour Party and Fine Gael form a coalition government, electing Garret FitzGerald as taoiseach.

Stubbs Weekly reports that more than 700 Irish firms went out of business in 1982, an increase of 50 per cent on 1981.

RTÉ Authority says questions and controversy relating to the 1983 abortion referendum will be covered only by programmes directly involved in the presentation and analysis of current affairs.

This followed a decision by the authority’s chairman Fred O’Donovan to veto a discussion on the abortion issue on the Late Late Show.

Top of the charts:Save your love (Renee and Renato)