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Reeling in the Years

The Nineties: 1994

Reeling in the Years

1994 is the year of the O.J. Simpson's arrest. Simpson is charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman.

The Army goes to battle in 'Braveheart' over reports of injuries during filming.

Boris Yeltsin arrives at Shannon Airport. Irish officials wait in vain to greet the Russian president. Boris Yeltsin never gets off the plane.

Ireland gets new drink-driving laws in 1994. Drivers have to observe lower blood-alcohol limits. Penalties include heavy fines and possible jail terms. Rural drinkers say the new laws are unfair.

As As Ireland prepares for the World Cup Finals, Dublin barmen go on strike the night of the first match. Sports fans stock up for Ireland. Ireland beat Italy 1-0.

Ireland v Mexico, 24 June: tempers and temperatures rise in the heat of Orlando. Mexico beat Ireland 2-1. A draw with Norway puts Ireland into the next round: Ireland v Holland on July 4. Holland win 2 - 0. Brazil are the eventual World Cup winners.

Riverdance is one of the highlights of Eurovision 94, hosted by Cynthia ni Mhurchu and Gerry Ryan. Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington are runaway winners, giving Ireland its third victory in a row.

RWANDA: ancient tribal hatreds turn into a modern genocide. After the death of Rwanda's President in an air crash, Hutu gangs launch a genocidal rampage against the Tutsi people.

UN intervention is limited and ineffective. As Tutsi forces begin to win the bloody civil war, hundreds of thousands of people flee over the border into Zaire. Huge refugee camps lack food, water and medicines.

Northern Ireland's sectarian killings continue. Six Catholics are among the dead in 1994. They are shot dead while watching a World Cup match in a pub.

In January, Gerry Adams travels to the United States for the first time in nearly 20 years. Peace moves intensify in America, Britain and Ireland. On August 31, the IRA calls a 'complete cessation of military operations'. In October, loyalists also call a ceasefire.

Dublin criminal Martin Cahill is shot dead. 'The General' dies on the street in Ranelagh.

Senior Catholic clergy are harshly criticised over a paedophile priest scandal. There is outrage over a delay in extraditing Fr. Brendan Smyth to the North.

Although ex-Attorney General Harry Whelehan is made High Court President, the bungled extradition of Brendan Smyth returns to trouble him.

The Taoiseach's handling of the appointment of Harry Whelehan leads to deep division within the Fianna Fail-Labour coalition. The government collapses, but no election is called. Albert Reynolds resigns. Bertie Ahern is Fianna Fail's new leader.

Down beat Dublin in the All-Ireland football final. Limerick's hurlers look set for victory over Offaly, but two goals in one minute make Offaly champions.

John Bruton becomes Taoiseach in December 1994, when Fine Gael, Labour and Democratic Left form their 'Rainbow Coalition'. As 1994 draws to a close, Ireland's economy is improving rapidly. Unemployment is falling, investment is rising. There is hope for a lasting peace in Northern Ireland.

Playlist:
R.E.M. - What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
Perez 'Prez' Prado - Guaglione
Whigfield - Saturday Night
Oasis - Live Forever
Bill Whelan/ Anuna/ RTE Concert Orchestra - Riverdance
Paul Harrington/ Charlie McGettigan - Rock'n'Roll Kids
Cranberries - Zombie
Crowded House - Distant Sun
Deep Forest - Sweet Lullaby
Boyzone - Love Me For A Reason
Shampoo - Trouble
A House - Here Come The Good Times


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