Archive for November 6th, 2009

Twenty-five years of Morning Ireland

6 November 2009

By Kevin O’Sullivan

Morning Ireland‘We’re better craic when we’re poor’. Des Bishop, who arrived in Ireland just after Italia 90 and is now unofficial ambassador for the Irish language, on Ireland, now and then. Bishop appeared on RTÉ Radio 1 yesterday morning to discuss the last twenty-five years of Ireland’s history, the period since Morning Ireland began broadcasting on 5 November 1984; an era in which that institution that for many has become, to echo the words of one of a special live audience, ‘part of my morning fix every day’.

The tone of yesterday’s anniversary programme was of a return to those (insert the opposite of halcyon) days of the mid-1980s. In the first hour Richard Downes interviewed Mary McAleese, who emphasised the importance of the peace process, having a positive mental attitude and cutting her salary, and left us with the image of her running after her husband and children in the Áras switching off the lights. Diarmaid Ferriter and Noel Dorr chatted about the events of 1984, the IRA attempt to murder Margaret Thatcher at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton that occurred just before Morning Ireland’s first broadcasts, and the historic processes that followed and led eventually to the Good Friday agreement. But it was economics that dominated: Avoca (who came bearing cake) and Microsoft represented the business community; Ferriter and Dorr discussed social partnership and development, and the importance of striking a balance between the various elements of Irish society to overcome differences and inequality. Not all doom, but more than a little gloom. Read More