Posts from the �s’ category

Panorama Photo of Dublin City, 1991

Dublin 1988 photo

This photo commemorates Dublin’s reign as European City of Culture in 1991

The Scottish Ballet came over to symbolically hand over the title from Glasgow, and there was a 31-hour reading of Ulysses on the radio.

Permanent Collection

Collection of call cards, 1990s


Between the era of the payphone and the mobile phone, there was a brief interlude in which the “cardphone” prospered

Telephone companies were keen to promote the cards – because customers paid up front, and often didn’t use their full allocation of credit. (Although an urban myth about recharging the cards by leaving them in your freezer was widely circulated). Small, iconic and fairly durable, these callcards quickly became a collector’s item among schoolboys, philatelists and miscellaneous geeks – traded at market stalls.

Phone companies quickly realised they could capitalise on this by selling advertising space on the cards, creating even more collectables in the process. Most payphones in the city were converted to accept callcards. However, the rising ubiquity of mobile/cell phones soon ended the market for callcards.

With thanks to Abie Philbin Bowman & Keith Brunkard

‘Phone Call, What Phone Call’, 1990

Brian Lenihan %22What phone call%22

This t-shirt mocks Brian Lenihan during the 1990 Presidential campaign

The aging statesman was caught spoofing in one of those classic Irish Presidential campaigns (long and bitter). With his credibility damaged, Lenihan lost the election to Mary Robinson.

With thanks to Frances Briody

Nouveau, First Issue, 1999

Nouveau First Issue

This periodical is evidence for the case that some people lost the run of themselves

Only in Ireland in the year 1999 could a magazine aimed at the new rich be called Nouveau without a shred of irony.

Ken Bryan, the magazine’s publisher, writes in his first editorial: “By all accounts, the risks [of publishing] are minimal.” There is no issue two of Nouveau magazine.

Permanent Collection

Mary Robinson Election Poster, 1990

Mary Robinson election poster

Mary Robinson was Ireland’s first female President, elected in 1990

An independent candidate with the backing of Labour and the Workers’ Party, Robinson was also the first president elected without the support of Fianna Fáil.

Robinson began her career as a senator, fighting to liberalise Ireland in the 1970s – access to contraception was one of her early causes, as well as abolishing a legal requirement that women in the civil service leave their jobs if they married. She was a legal advisor to the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform, which eventually succeeded in overturning Ireland’s ban on homosexuality in 1992. As President, Mary Robinson revitalised the office, before becoming United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights.

Permanent Collection