This week we take a brief look at the 21st to 26th Dails bringing us up to the 1990s

21st Dail: The Liam Cosgrave/Brendan Corish Fine Gael/Labour Coalition Government continued in office till June 1977, when a general election was called by An Taoiseach. Political commentators almost all predicted a return of the Coalition.

Instead Fianna Fáil and Jack Lynch, with a very popular manifesto got over 50% of the first preference vote and the biggest overall majority in the Dail since 1923.

The state of the parties was FF 84, FG 43, Labour 17, Independents 4. Jack Lynch was An Taoiseach again.

22nd Dail: Having decided not to lead Fianna Fail into the next general election, things changed for Jack Lynch in the autumn of 1979, with defeat in the 2 Cork by-elections won by Myra Barry and Liam Burke for Fine Gael. Contrary to the wishes of Lynch and the party hierarchy Charles Haughey succeeded him as leader and Taoiseach.

The general election of June 1981 brought Fine Gael and Labour back to power with Garrett Fitzgerald as An Taoiseach and Michael O’Leary as Tanaiste.

The state of the parties at this time was FF 78, FG 65, Labour 15, H-Block 2, Sinn Fein The Workers Party 1 (Joe Sherlock), Independents 5. Jim Kemmy supported the Government …


See full report on this week’s Print & Digital Edition