Brian Lenihan

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A lunch Charles Haughey hosted for the Saudi crown prince Abdullah at Malahide Castle in November 1988 exceeded government spending limits on the basis that “entertainment by the Taoiseach must be of a very high standard”. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

The 1980s were a time of severe austerity in Ireland. A ballooning budget deficit and double-digit unemployment threatened the viability of the State (...)

Dr Patrick Hillery at Áras an Uachtaráin. Photograph: Pat Langan

President Patrick Hillery came under pressure in 1988 to carry out a State visit to the Vatican in order to facilitate a second visit by Pope John Pau(...)

A statue of a soldier still stands atop the Enniskillen cenotaph on November 9th, 1987. Photograph: Reuters

An anonymous letter-writer to the Irish government 30 years ago claimed that British intelligence knew in advance about the Enniskillen bombing but ch(...)

Mary Coughlan celebrating her appointment as Minister for Agriculture in 2004. Photograph: Frank Miller

After Constance Markievicz, Ireland had no woman at cabinet for 60 years. In the past century, there have been just 19 female ministers - and two fema(...)

Former minister for justice  Dermot Ahern: ‘Imagine the reaction if I proposed a referendum then.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

One man who will be voting yes in Friday’s blasphemy referendum is former Fianna Fáil minister for justice Dermot Ahern. It was he who in 2009 introdu(...)

Dame Street Italian restaurant Nicos is set to close next month. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

One of the oldest and most traditional Italian restaurants in Ireland will close its doors for the last time next month with its owner of more than 40(...)

Nos 86-89 Upper Leeson Street, which were threatened with demolition in the late 1960s. Photograph: Andy Sheridan

It was the tumbling of perfectly fine Victorian villas on Burlington Road in the late 1960s, to make way for office blocks, that spurred Carmencita He(...)

RTÉ  environment editor  George Lee warned on Morning Ireland the end of the world is nigh

It’s just over a decade since listeners awoke to hear Morning Ireland (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays) carry the startling news that Brian Cowen’s government h(...)

Former minister for finance Brian Cowen received a standing ovation in the Dáil for his 2007 giveaway budget. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The idea of painting finance minsters as Santa or Scrooge depending on how much or how little they put in our pockets at budget time is silly, not lea(...)

 Minister for Finance  Paschal Donohoe: his meetings with his ministerial colleagues on the budget in recent weeks have been relatively straightforward. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

With most spending plans for next year squared off with his Cabinet colleagues in recent weeks, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will hold a s(...)

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