Ireland. It was a government in financial turmoil that in
January presented a budget with tax cuts for both companies
and private individuals. The surplus in the balance of
payments was estimated at the equivalent of SEK 2.2 billion.
and GDP was expected to increase by 5.5%.
Despite the good times, the ruling "rainbow coalition",
consisting of Conservative Fine Gael, Labor and the
Democratic Left, lost the parliamentary elections in June.
The center-focused Fianna Fáil (FF) formed a minority
government together with the Progressive Democrats (PD). FF
leader Bertie Ahern became prime minister and PD leader Mary
Harney his deputy. The government must rely on support from
Countryaah, the new government suffered its first hardship in
October, when Foreign Minister Ray Burke was forced to leave
both the government and parliament. He had difficulty
explaining partly a political donation of SEK 350,000. he
received in 1989, partly the circumstances surrounding the
sale of eleven Irish passports to a Saudi banker for 225
million. kr. The Burke affair became particularly
troublesome for the government as he was one of the chairmen
of the Northern Ireland peace talks.
Popular President Mary Robinson resigned in June to
become UN Commissioner for Human Rights. She was succeeded
in November by Northern Irishman Mary McAleese, a lawyer
from Belfast and nominated by the ruling parties. That a
Northern Irishman could be elected President of the Republic
was due to the fact that I. in his constitution claims the
whole island and that Northern Irishmen are automatically
entitled to Irish citizenship.
Labor leader Dick Spring resigned in November. as a
result of the party's poor election results. He was
succeeded by former Finance Minister Ruairí Quinn.
The woman's position
In 1972, the Irish Women's Council was established. The
strong Catholic tradition in the country has been a powerful
brake on women's emancipation. Women from both regions of
Ireland are forced to travel to the UK to have an abortion,
and in Ireland, contraceptive sales continue to be limited.
In 1983, a controversial referendum was held in Ireland,
which led to abortion according to. the constitution was
banned. At the same time, a 60-year-old divorce ban was
maintained, despite the government's recommendation to
In 1987, the share of women in the Irish labor market was
38.5% - the lowest in Western Europe.
In 1990, the Ecclesiastical Synod of Ireland approved
that women could be ordained as priests, placing it at the
forefront of the other Anglican churches on this issue.
In March 1992, the theme of abortion became relevant
again in the political debate in the Republic. The High
Court forbade a 14-year-old girl who had become pregnant as
a result of a rape traveled to England to have an abortion.
It was estimated that around 40,000 Irish women annually
travel to England for this very purpose. The case of the
young girl triggered sharp reactions from both abortion
supporters and opponents, and also triggered a demand for a
new referendum on the issue. Eventually, the Supreme Court
overturned the verdict, allowing the girl to leave Ireland
for a miscarriage. The case also raised the question of the
relationship between the Irish Constitution and EU law
guaranteeing the free movement of citizens between EU Member
In 1993, a new referendum on abortion was held, with
two-thirds of voters voting in favor of the right to be
informed about abortion and the right to go abroad to have