General Election, 18th February 1982

Factfile

23rd DAIL (166 DEPUTIES )

Others include : Sinn Fein the Workers Party ; the Irish Republican Socialist Party; the Communist Party of Ireland ; and non - party candidates

Turnout 73%
Number of women elected - 8 (4%)

Elected for Clare : Brendan Daly (FF), William (Bill) A. Loughnane (FF),
Sylvester Barrett (FF), Donal Carey (FG)

Election caused by FG - Lab govt budget attempt to remove subsidies from foodstuffs, impose VAT on footwear and clothing

Economy and jobs dominate election campaign. Others issues include Knock airport, Clondalkin paper mills, Whitegate oil refinery and urban crime

Bishop of Kerry Kevin McNamara in pastoral letter urges voters to consider candidates views on abortion, contraception and divorce

Padraig Flynn (FF, Mayo West) pledges 15m support for Castlebar hospital 

"Haughey factor" issue throughout campaign, both within FF dissident faction and with other parties

Haughey election agent charged with personation offences

Proportional representation gains and losses : FF wins extra 2% of vote and gains
3 seats ; FG win extra 8% of vote and loses 2 seats

FF National Executive selects RTE personality Liam O Murchu for Cork North Central and Sile de Valera for Dublin South in face of strong local Cumann opposition - neither is elected 

Bernadette Devlin McAliskey (Non-party), recuperating from UDA murder attempt, contests Dublin North Central, hoping to gain from H-Block vote 

Big parties contest election with debts still unpaid from last year’s election  

Haughey engages in "aerial electioneering" as he canvasses nationwide support in 200-an-hour helicopter ; Fitzgerald tours country in a bus

TV commentators wryly suggest Brian Farrell (RTE) won Today Tonight "great debate" between Haughey and Fitzgerald

Final election result : FF 81, FG 63, Lab 15, Others 7

9 March : FF forms minority govt with support dependent on "Gregory deal", a pact forged with Independent Tony Gregory (Dublin Central); Haughey Taoiseach, Ray McSharry Tanaiste

    "There’s one thing we have that they [Fine Gael] can never have, and that’s a love of the four green fields of
    Ireland."
    -Padraig Flynn (FF, Mayo West)

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