Reeling in the Years

The Seventies: 1971


Reeling in the Years

Ireland's most successful businessman, Tony O'Reilly, forecasts increased foreign investment in Ireland but warns against complete control passing to multinational companies in New York, London or Paris.

Irish art students in Dublin demand radical changes to their college and its curriculum.

Ireland hosts the Eurovision Song Contest in April. RTE prepares for its first-ever live colour TV production. Angela Farrell represents Ireland with 'One Day Love'. Severine wins for Monaco with "Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue".

The Fianna Fail Ard-Fheis turns nasty. A deeply divided party witnesses a public power struggle as Kevin Boland directly challenges the Fianna Fail leadership over its behaviour in the previous year's Arms Crisis.

In open defiance of traditional Fianna Fail policy, the Boland faction also demands militant action on Northern Ireland. Patrick Hillery faces down the challengers. The party leadership wins a decisive victory.

South Vietnamese forces sweep into neighbouring Laos to disrupt the North's 'Ho Chi Minh Trail' supply line. The U.S. continues its gradual withdrawal of combat troops. Many Vietnam veterans join the anti-war movement in the U.S.

In May, the Irish Women's Liberation Movement leads a cross-Border protest against the Republic's ban on contraception. Contraceptives bought in Belfast are brought back on the train to Dublin.

Hippies set up a commune on a remote island. The hippies claim they are creating a new society for the future.

Cigarette advertising is banned on television this year. The nation has a booming drinks trade in 1971 . Across rural Ireland, there is one pub for every 250 people.

An award-winning RTE drama, "A Day in the Life of Martin Cluxton", tells the story of a young Dubliner in and out of industrial school.

On 9 August, the NI government introduces internment without trial. Hundreds of Catholics are 'lifted' in pre-dawn raids. The operation is directed only at the IRA - no loyalists are arrested.

Riots and gun battles follow the introduction of internment. 22 people die in three days: 7,000 people are burnt out of their homes. Many refugees flee to camps set up by the Southern government.

By mid-August, an estimated 6,000 people have crossed the Border. Britain is later convicted in the European Court of Human Rights of using 'degrading and inhuman treatment' against internees.

As the chaos continues across the North,IRA leaders like Joe Cahill appear openly on TV in the Republic. The Fianna Fail government clamps down on RTE to prevent what it says is the promotion of violence by illegal groups.

1971 Idi Amin seizes power in Uganda. The former army officer promotes himself to President after a military coup in the Central African country.

Despite strong U.S. opposition to the move, Communist China is finally admitted to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Relations improve between China and the States as President Nixon announces that he will visit the People's Republic next year.

Kilkenny v Tipperary
Tipp win the Hurling Final by 5-17 to 5-14.
Offaly take on Galway in the football
Offaly win by 1-14 to 2-8.

Ireland gets a change of currency in 1971. The new 'decimal' system replaces pounds, shillings and pence. The Minister for Finance hears claims of unjustified price increases.

T. Rex - Get It On
Angela Farrell - One Day Love
Clodagh Rogers - Jack in the Box
Severine - Un Banc, Un Arbre, Une Rue
The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
Middle Of The Road - Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
Lynn Anderson - Rose Garden
Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Gilbert O'Sullivan - Nothing Rhymed
Curtis Mayfield - Move On Up

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