August 2, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by.

August 2, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.

August 2 - 50 years ago

On this day 50 years ago, you might imagine that Ireland was consumed by different issues and concerns.

But it seems sometimes that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

On August 2, 1969, Irish people were reading about a bumper tourism season, rip-off prices, and ESB hikes.

The bank holiday weekend of 1969, we were told, may break all previous records for tourists flocking to Ireland. Thousands of tourists “were pouring in through Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports” with traffic up between 8% and 9% on the same period in 1968.

Despite this, the Irish Examiner was wondering if “we are pricing ourselves out of the tourism market” and planned a five-day investigation into the matter.

Rip-off Ireland was well and truly an issue 50 years ago, as were electricity price hikes — with an ESB price hike making the front page.

20 years ago

Fast-forward 30 years to 1999 and Ireland was less consumed by bills and rising electricity prices. The boom was in full swing, baby.

So much so, in fact, that soaring employment rates led to the Government of the day saving some £80m in dole payments.

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office revealed that welfare payments to the unemployed fell almost 9% the previous year and, as a result, the Government saved a cool £80m. Everyone was happy.

Then welfare minister Dermot Ahern said it was a sign of just how well the Government was handling the economy.

Even the sun shone every day back in 1999 it seems. The “Sunny South-East” was the place to be. Jam-packed with festivals, it was competing with the best any country could offer.

“Celebrated festival locations like Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, Havana and Berlin were all put in the shade by the cosmopolitan mix of partytimers basking in the sunshine,” noted a front-page piece.

10 years ago

Ten years on, though, and the boom was a distant memory. The Irish Examiner’s lead story was an investigation into how increasingly cash-strapped households were turning to licensed moneylenders to dig themselves out of debt.

One case study featured “Kate” who went to a moneylender in the face of threatening letters and never-ending bills.

“I have had to resort to moneylenders. I know it’s not smart but, at least till I get a job it will keep the bills off my back,” she says.

In happier news, on this day in 2009, 95-year-old Mayo man Tom Ketterick achieved his dream of competing in the finals of the World Cup Trout Angling Championships after six decades of trying.

5 years ago

On August 2, 2014, the Irish Examiner reported on how the Garda Ombudsman had told the Department of Justice that it could not undertake an “extensive” investigation into Sergeant Maurice McCabe’s penalty point complaints without an extra €1m in funding.

Last year

And a year ago today, Brexit was firmly on the radar with the Irish Examiner front page revealing that the Government had been warned that an influx of “illegals” into the country post-Brexit could sink the asylum system and place enormous pressure on other State services.

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