The first of five general elections held during the 1980s saw Charles Haughey and Garret Fitzgerald fighting their first elections as leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael respectively.
Added to the mix of an ailing economy, increasing unemployment and emigration was the H-Blocks campaign in support of the Republican prisoners on hunger strike in the Maze Prison. The prisoners had gone on hunger strike, aiming to secure the reintroduction of political status for Republican prisoners.
Kieran Doherty is elected for Cavan-Monaghan while on hunger strike in the Maze Prison while serving sentences for possession of firearms and explosives, and for hijacking.
Taoiseach Charles Haughey speaks out strongly against the H Block activists who attempt to disrupt his election campaign.
On the morning of the election of a new Taoiseach, several deputies attended a special mass at the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin. With the issue of who would form the next government still in doubt, a number of deputies offered their opinions.