Ireland now vs 70s and 80s: compare

bokuden

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I'd like to hear from our more mature posters who lived through the 70s and or 80s here. How does it compare? I've heard conflicting opinions in the media: Today is still a cake walk compared to the old times. Now is worse because of the levels of debt, etc.

How was life day to day compared to now?
 


beamish2010

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1980's and 2010.

I'd like to hear from our more mature posters who lived through the 70s and or 80s here. How does it compare? I've heard conflicting opinions in the media: Today is still a cake walk compared to the old times. Now is worse because of the levels of debt, etc.

How was life day to day compared to now?
In the 1980's there was the safety valve of emigration...Sadly that option is not what it once was...Plus there was not a banking crisis and there was not the huge levels of person debt unlike today.
 

joenitka

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Did home owners in 70's and 80's have a house that was worth 200,000 instead of 400,000 in reletave monetary terms ? Is that not one of the big differences ?
 

gatsbygirl20

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Inflation after the Yom Kippur war in the Seventies was a bitch as money was worthless for a while, plus there were queues at every petrol pump and sudden extended power cuts. You put on your make-up by candlelight, but the lights came on suddenly in mid-party a few hours later. Yikes!

For me things were tough as my family were poor but I had ambition to better myself and worked at every job I could to educate myself. But you see, we had such low expectations generally, and we were so young, none of it seemed to matter. Hitchhiking round the world, sleeping on friends floors, washing dishes for a living---all that seemed like a great adventure in your early 20s. Maybe its the same for young people today. But in your 50s you just can't go back to that, plus you have kids to pay for and help, elderly parents to help, college reg to pay.....

Plus, there were fewer graduates back then. As a graduate I had not much hope of a job, but at least I was one of a privileged minority. Now every young person seems to have a 2:1 or an MA. So its much more competitive. Young people are more serious about careers today, just when they are scarcer

We also left the nest younger--buggering off from oppressive Catholic, authoritarian homes to find freedom in the great free world out there. Now home is a great place to be, nicely decorated, liberal, hot shower, decent food. We didn't care about home comforts. There were none.

But we were lied to also. Told to tighten our belts by Haughey because we were "living beyond our means". Paid 65 pence in the pound tax. Scammers who were hiding their money all the time, with Bank and official collusion, were eventually given tax amnesties instead of being jailed. So plus ca change.....

Emigration was the norm back then. It was still painful for our parents, with their race memory of "American wakes". The airport at Knock meant so much to the old people in the West. It was bringing their children back to them on regular visits. Every plane they heard droning overhead was a promise.......But we were brought up to emigrate like the generations before us...

Now? Oh, it is much harder. The huge fall is so much harder to bear. We thought we had left so much behind...that we could look the world in the eye...that we could protect our kids from our hard beginnings.....
We thought we would have the joy of our children and our grandchildren in our old age.
If we had thought they would have to take the same hard road as ourselves, that we would be parted from them, we would not have spoiled them so much...would not have loved them so dearly....
 

PAD1OH

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my clothes were mostly the stuff my brother grew out of. (i didn't mind cos it was the it was)

everyone walked / cycled to and from school (and fitter for it)

holidays were caravans in wales or donegal (and they were an adventure)

a bag of chips on friday in school was a big treat.

I had a job on tables in a pub that paid 1.25 an hour (or less)

the future mostly seemed brighter

etc.
 

scallioneater

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well, no matter how bad it gets at lest we will have half decent houses to live in. even if we cant afford the heating.
 

jmcc

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I'd like to hear from our more mature posters who lived through the 70s and or 80s here. How does it compare? I've heard conflicting opinions in the media: Today is still a cake walk compared to the old times. Now is worse because of the levels of debt, etc.
The 1980s were tough. A lot of the people I grew up with emigrated and it seemed that the colleges and universities were just a delay for those about to emigrate. The old improvise, adapt, overcome attitude was one that was essential. Those who didn't have it would have found things a lot harder.

How was life day to day compared to now?
No internet. Computers that ran at 4.77 MHz instead of 4000 MHz. No mobile phones - this was why CB radio was so popular. It was the IM of the day. A far more limited set of channels on TV (No satellite TV per se until 1989 unless you forked out a few thousand for a satellite TV receiver system with a two metre dish. The high power Astra satellites with the small 90cm dishes didn't really kick in until 1989.) Video tapes instead of DVDs.

The upside was that the early 1980s had a diverse set of computers in the market. Many of them were cheap (ZX80, ZX81, Spectrum, Amstrad, Vic 20, Commodore 64) and provided the basis and training grounds for many of today's programmers.

How bad the 1980s were is a personal thing as it is highly subjective. It was really bad for some people and most families had at least one member who had emigrated. Personal debt was not as high as it is today but the difference is that there is still that attitude that it can be dealt with. This is different from the 1980s when it all seemed so dark. And politicians were just as bad then as they are today but people don't hold them in such high esteem now.

Regards...jmcc
 

former wesleyan

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My first interaction with people from the republic was in England during the '70's and they were from very diverse backgrounds. The younger ones I met were largely from solid middle class backgrounds and they were either going back to complete their education or elase off around the world.
I found them to be clever, witty, friendly and 99% non-sectarian, the last being an eye opener for me. Meeting them began the process whererby I began to travel to the republic regularily and finally to settle here in the early '80's. Even during those hard times the people were great but sadly things changed during the Tiger years.
Arrogance and snobbery began to define the generation that followed mine. I can't count the number of times I've cringed in places like foreign airports when I've heard some twerp give it rock on about things being "not good enough " ! This is one class which I hope suffers. Big time.
 

Pauli

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My first interaction with people from the republic was in England during the '70's and they were from very diverse backgrounds. The younger ones I met were largely from solid middle class backgrounds and they were either going back to complete their education or elase off around the world.
I found them to be clever, witty, friendly and 99% non-sectarian, the last being an eye opener for me. Meeting them began the process whererby I began to travel to the republic regularily and finally to settle here in the early '80's. Even during those hard times the people were great but sadly things changed during the Tiger years.
Arrogance and snobbery began to define the generation that followed mine. I can't count the number of times I've cringed in places like foreign airports when I've heard some twerp give it rock on about things being "not good enough " ! This is one class which I hope suffers. Big time.
+1. Those ******************************s are about to get a major wake-up call. Not before time. Repellant twats.
 

TonyBird

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The 1980s were the peak of human civilization . History will record this fact . There was a nice balance between people and technology . Now we are idiot slaves .
 

Pauli

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Music in the 80s was infinitely better. The Smiths v X-Factor??????? No contest!!!!!
 

DAOINE

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I remember the early 80's and being about 5 and my mother telling me that for a while when she was young you could go out in the morning and come back in the evening with a job. I was amazed at this because even at 5 I knew there was no jobs around.
The estate we lived in was was never fixed up. There was always horses there but we liked that. Nothing was done up and the whole city was crumbling from lack of maintenance. Most people were in the same boat and I didn't know many rich people but there were a few at my primary school. All the cars were old and we all walked to school. A parent driving you to school was almost unheard of. Coal men used horses to deliver coal and horses were still being used to plough fields and pull in the long gone haystack. Things were not better then and most people were unhappy but we all survived. It was good to see things improve in the 90's and 0's and the idea of emigration was gone for almost a generation. I emigrated 10 years ago so I never saw the snobbery very much. When I did visit I did see the arrogance. What I always loved about Ireland was that we were never arrogant.
 

Fr Jack Hackett

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4 of us lived in one room in my Grandfathers house. Da working 16 hour days and trying to run a farm. Butter and Sugar sandwiches were tea sometimes not often but often enough to remember it. There is no way this is as bad as it was then. It will get worse I believe but right now it does not compare to then. Theres young wans knocking round this country who think not being able to afford mobile phone credit is a recession. I remember growing up in a small parish and a queue outside the local post office for the payphone, people ringing England to talk to their kids. The airport in dublin at christmas is something I will never forget. The joy of picking people up and tears when they left.
The GAA team was made up of aul fellas and lads 17. 70% of the people in our parish were gone. Some only to dublin but most to london and america. People not being able to come as they were illegal. The 80's were chronic times. I remember My Da getting up at 6am farming till 7 going to work 40miles away for 8am working till 4pm and starting another shift at 4pm till 12am. then home and in bed for 12:45am and start again. I watched him do this for 8 years. He got pneumonia and allmost died christmas of 88 from sheer exhaustion. he was only 28. Mental stuff when you look back. No Today is not as bad. We have more luxuries to coax us through.
 

Venceremos

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There was a lot less 'stuff' around. No matter what happens economically, environmental constraints mean that we will never have as big a consumer boom again. I don't think people will miss this, as long as the distribution is fair. Services have improved in Ireland, but not as much as in our EU counter-parts where they invested seriously in public services. It was still a bitter, closed country, where being gay was a serious fear, people judged each other on minimum info, even more than now, and there was little recognition of hidden child abuse. We are a better country in many ways, apart from the unthinking consumerism.
Children and young people now are more confident and thoughtful, and generally have a better relation with their elders. The adults worried about 'permissiveness' (allowing people to live different lives from the 'norm'). The country was obsessed with sex (attacking contraception, homosexuality, sex before marriage (still taboo), masturbation, sex in films etc. etc.)
In those days, few went to college, and many did not go on to secondary school.
And people were saying, as they have for at least the last 150 years, 'young people have no respect for their elders... blah blah .. drugs, drink, sex... blah... . selfish... no sense of community... blah blah." (Joyce's 'The Dead' has a good example of this speech about getting richer but loosing our 'sense of community' , but I digress).
 

Monday Monday

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In 1973 my parents had to do a "job interview" with a developer to buy a house off him. I sh1t you not. They didn't pass because my dad was a blue collar worker. The house was in Finglas!!!!

Two years later when the houses hadn't sold he contacted my folks and asked them would they like to buy. In modern Ireland he would have been told to stick his house up his hole, but we lived there for 20 years.

One night the gigantic billboard the developer had over the estate "fell down" in the strong wind. By pure luck my father and some neighbours just happened to be there with their axes and wheelbarrows. Everybody on the road had a warm fire that night.

Celtic Tiger fashion was for solid wood floors. My mother hates wood floors with a passion as in the 70's and 80's much of her time was involved in back breaking labour polishing wooden floors becuase nobody had carpet. In fact a neighbours first carpet was made up of the carpet books that you see in the shop advertising the range. Once they broke up the book they arranged the differant tiles to cover the floor.

But it's not a Monthy Python sketch. We weren't poor back then - that kind of thing was average. I was a happy child, liked where I lived, and I never wanted for anything. But that is the thing, I didn't want anything much and I didn't get anything much. I think that is going to be the biggest problem over the next 10 or more years. Managing the levels of expectation built up by the bubble. There is a whole section of Irish society who have never known hard times. It's going to be grim for them to adjust and It won't even be real hardship they are adjusting to.

I honestly don't think we will go back to the 80's as Ireland has made big improvements in the last 20 years - the economy is a bigger economy even though we have a debt crisis. In the 70's and 80's the economy simply did not generate enough wealth to sustain its citizens.
 

Aspherical123

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I'd like to hear from our more mature posters who lived through the 70s and or 80s here. How does it compare? I've heard conflicting opinions in the media: Today is still a cake walk compared to the old times. Now is worse because of the levels of debt, etc.

How was life day to day compared to now?
80s,everyone was skint together, pubs full but people drank very slowly, low crime rates, you could buy a bungelow and an acre for 30 k until the early 90s, people drove old bangers, community spirit, Ireland felt like a unique place.

Celtic tiger, big mortgages, the bungelow that cost 30k was now 270k, new fancy cars on credit, people went out less cause they were saving up for a new kitchen or had a huge mortgage, high crime rates, loss of community spirit, Ireland becoming like anywhere else. Arrogance, ie the new money mentality took hold.

I prefered the 80s by far. Less money, but Ireland was a nicer place to live, much nicer people.
 
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Cassandra Syndrome

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Ireland 1970 Total Debt to GNP 60%
Ireland 1980 Total Debt to GNP 100%
Ireland 1990 Total Debt to GNP 150%
Ireland 1998 Total Debt to GNP 160%
Ireland 2010 Total Debt to GNP 800%
 


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