Minister for foreign affairs Brian Lenihan with An Ngoc Dung (2) and Van Quoc Thanh (3) at a party for Vietnamese refugees at Blanchardstown hospital, Co Dublin, in 1979. Photograph: Pat Langan/The Irish Times

Forty years ago today, on Christmas Eve 1979, the front page of The Irish Times carried an unusually cheery photograph of then minister for foreign af(...)