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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 17 April, 2014

In pictures: Vintage health campaigns in Ireland

From murderous houseflies to challenging TB…

PUBLIC HEALTH campaigns in Ireland have used various media including film and leaflets in an effort to disseminate information about the fight against diseases such as TB or to promote health initiatives such as dental hygiene.

James Fogarty of the Medical Independent has done extensive research on the history of health campaigns in Ireland and their development through the decades.

He charts public health campaigns from early-20th century efforts to tackle TB, through the government’s mass fluoridation water scheme of the 1960s, and on to the safe sex campaigns of the 80s and 90s.

You can read Fogarty’s article in full here, and you can check out some of the country’s vintage health campaigns in the gallery below.

One of the two films mentioned in the gallery below, Tony Bacillus & Co, features an evil germ-spreading genius, a TB-infected cow and a great soundtrack. Made in 1946, the film was part of the campaign to build awareness among children of the ways TB can be spread.

It was recently digitised and can be watched online through the IFI Irish Film Archive’s website here.

In pictures: Vintage health campaigns in Ireland
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  • Murderous Houseflies

    (Reproduced by permission of the Director of the National Archives)
  • Tackling TB

    (Reproduced by permission of the Director of the National Archives)
  • Mr T Bacillus

    "T. Bacillus and Co." (1946). (Courtesy of the IFI Irish Film Archive)
  • Infant Care

    (Image courtesy of the National Library of Ireland)
  • The TB Fight

    (Reproduced by permission of the Director of the National Archives)
  • Dental Hygiene

    "Keep Your Teeth" (1951). (Courtesy of the IFI Irish Film Archive)
  • Spreading Germs

    (Reproduced by permission of the Director of the National Archives)
  • Preventing Heart Attacks

    Image courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

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