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
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.