Our “Ireland in the Year…” blog posts are inspired by an Irish documentary television program, Reeling in the Years, which detailed special events, both cultural and political, from particular years in Irish history.
This diverting TV show became an Irish favourite. These days, people from all over the world still enjoy tuning into YouTube clips of this popular TV program.
To see our other Ireland in the Year posts, please click here.
Now, let’s go back to the Ireland of 1977….this “blast from the past” will be the perfect way to walk down memory lane.
What Happened in 1977?
A crew followed the same route that was once sailed by sixth-century Irish monks, eventually landing on the shores of Canada’s Newfoundland province.
This 4,000 mile journey across rough Atlantic seas really captured the world’s imagination, and it received plenty of media attention.
During 1977, Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed her 25th year as regent. After an 11 year absence, the Queen decided to visit Northern Ireland; however, he trip was marred by protests from Republicans, who crowded the Falls Road.
Ireland’s music scene became more thrilling during this time period, as punk rock began to gain in popularity.
For example, many Irish citizens enjoyed the rebellious spirit of the Sex Pistols’ anti-authority anthem, God Save the Queen.
In addition, the Emerald Isle became the home of a brand-new music magazine, Hot Press, which was designed to appeal to younger music fans.
During the All-Ireland Football Final, Dublin reigned victorious for the second year in a row, trouncing the competition (Armagh).
Cork also bested Wexford in the sport of Hurling, thereby earning an All-Ireland title.
During the 1977 general election, Fine Gael strove to sustain a Coalition government with the Labour Party. Fianna Fail argued that voters should ‘Bring Back Jack, and also made a series of bold and ambitious election promises, including vows to enact bigger public spending policies and implement major tax cuts.
Jack Lynch won (for Fianna Fail) in a landslide victory, earning a twenty-seat majority government.
A loyalist workers’ strike in Northern Ireland created tension and upheaval. Ian Paisley led the strike. Loyalist paramilitaries utilized intimidation tactics in order to ‘persuade’ people to stay away from work.
Several key groups of employees disagreed with the strike’s principles, including workers at the North’s central power station. Ultimately, the strike failed.
Musical Hits of 1977
Lots of memorable tunes were featured on the Irish hit parade in 1977.
In addition to the Sex Pistols, whom we mentioned earlier, the Emerald Isle’s people were enchanted with Fleetwood Mac’s, “Dreams”, Thin Lizzy’s “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” and Rod Stewatrt’s cover version of Cat Steven’s poignant tune, “The First Cut is the Deepest”.
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