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Seán Lemass and the 1960's, 70's and 80's

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Ms. Mc Caffrey

on 21 November 2018

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Transcript of Seán Lemass and the 1960's, 70's and 80's

Lemass and the 1960's, 70's and 80's in Ireland
1960's Ireland
When Sean Lemass became Taoiseach in 1959, he appointed some younger ministers to the government. These included Jack Lynch, Charles Haughey and Donagh O' Malley.
The Economy
Lemass introduced a new economic policy. It was called the First Programme for Economic Expansion.
He abolished the old policy of protection (using tariffs to protect home industry) because it had failed.
Northern Ireland
Lemass changed government policy in relation to Ireland. He believed the best way to end partition was to make southern Ireland more prosperous.
He met Terence O' Neill, Prime Minsiter of Northern Ireland, in Belfast. This was the first official meeting between the leaders of the two states since partition.
By the end of the 1960's relations between the two countries had worsened.
The system of education was changed. School courses were changed and improved.
New schools were built and old ones refurbished. The minister for education Donagh O' Malley brought in a scheme of free secondary education.
Numbers going to secondary school increased.
Social Change
People were better off in Ireland in the 1960's.
There were many changes in the way people lived.
Shopping centres were built.
More tourists came to the country.
The Catholic Church brought in many reforms.
RTE was set up and television brought new ideas to the country.
These were the 'Swinging Sixties' in contrast the depressed fifties.
Years of Uncertainty 1966 - 85
When Sean Lemass retired in 1966, he was succeeded by Jack Lynch as Taoiseach and as leader of Fianna Fail.
Jack Lynch faced the problem of increased violence in Northern Ireland.
Years of Uncertainty 1966-85
Haughey and Blaney were charged in relation to the illegal importation of arms. The charges were dropped.
Some nationalists in the South wanted to take an active part in the Northern Ireland conflict.
They set about the job of modernising the country.
Instead he encouraged:
Gave tax concessions and grants to attract foreign industry
British and American companies built factories in Ireland. Employment rose and emigration stopped. Living standards also rose. The population began to increase.
The Arms Crisis
In 1970, Lynch faced a crisis out of the conflict in Northern Ireland when he had to dismiss two of his ministers - Charles Haughey and Neil Blaney - because they did not subscribe fully to the government policy on Northern Ireland.
Ireland and the EEC
Lynch's government was also involved in negotiating Ireland's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC)
Irish attempts to join the EEC in the 1960's were blocked.
Many people in Ireland wanted to join the EEC. They believed Ireland's economy would benefit.
A referendum in 1972 resulted in a huge majority in fbour of entering the EEC.
Ireland entered on 1 January 1973.
Effects of EEC Membership
Overall Ireland benefited from being a member of the EEC.
Guaranteed prices and grants under the Common Agricultural Policy made farmers better off.
Some jobs were lost as factories closed due to competition.
Foreign companies were attracted to Ireland seeing it as a base to sell their products in the large EEC market.
Ireland benefited from aid to provide job training and to improve roads, sewerage and telephone services.
The Coalition Government
Jack Lynch and Fianna Fail were defeated in the 1973 general election.
A coalition government formed by Fine Gael and Labour led by Liam Cosgrave came to power.
The new government was faced by two major problems
The economy ran into trouble as oil prices increased. Unemployment an inflation rose.The government had to increase taxes and borrow money.
The Troubles in Northern Ireland worsened. The Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave signed the Sunningdale Agreement in 1973 with the British Prime Minister Edward Heath.
This agreement set up a power sharing government in Northern Ireland as well as a Council of Ireland to promote North-South co-operation.
The Northern Violence hit the South in 1974 when loyalist bombs in Dublin and Monaghan killed 33 people.
Fianna Fail Returns
In 1977 Jack Lynch and Fianna Fail defeated the coalition government.
Jack Lynch brought Charles Haughey back into cabinet whom he had sacked in 1970.
When Lynch resigned in 1979 Haughey succeeded him as leader of Fianna Fail and Taoiseach.
Political Developments in the 1980's
Instability in Government
Economic problems caused instability in government over the next few years.
Different governments faced problems of high unemployment and inflation (rising prices) which they failed to solve.
There were 3 governments in eighteen months.
Over the next two years the Irish and British governments negotiated the Anglo Irish Agreement.
Garret Fitzgerald and Margaret Thatcher signed this agreement in 1985.
The agreement stated that the Republic of Ireland would have a say in the running of Northern Ireland. This was a major achievement as it lead to further stages in the peace process.
After 1985 - Recent Years
The Anglo Irish Agreement marked the beginning of closer co-operation between the Irish and British and governments in the search for peace in Northern Ireland.
As the peace process developed in the 1990's southern governments were involved at each stage of the negotiations.
Good relations between the British and Irish governments helped make progress in the North possible.
Ireland's economy did not begin to improve until the 1990's. Then Ireland experienced and economic boom. The newly prosperous era was called the 'Celtic Tiger'
However, in 2008 the booming prosperity suddenly collapsed and Ireland went into recession.
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