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Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Joe Dolan was on a UN blacklist over a performance in South Africa

As were Foster and Allen.
Jan 1st 2017, 11:00 AM 20,942 31

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT was alerted to the presence of a number of entertainers on a UN blacklist in 1986.

Documents released under the 30-year rule show that a number of Irish singers were on the blacklist of the UN Centre Against Apartheid.

The register, dated April 1986, says it is the third such document and includes a list of artists who had performed in apartheid-era South Africa and not pledged to avoid the country in future.

The Irish Permanent Representation to the UN sent a note back to the Department of Foreign Affairs, alerting them to the list.

On it are:

  • Foster and Allen who toured South Africa from May-June 1985
  • Singer Geraldine Branagan who performed in October 1982
  • Michael Bryan who sang there in June 1985
  • Margo and Trevor Burns, who played in September 1984
  • Phil Coulter who played in May 1983
  • Joe Dolan who played in 1981 and 1983
  • The Danny Fisher Showband
  • Tom McGrath
  • Dave and Harry Monks
  • Cissy Stone

A  further page shows that singers Mitch T Mitchell, Mary O’Hara and comedian Hal Roche were removed from the register as they had pledged not to perform in South Africa until apartheid was ended.

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The register came at a time when apartheid was hotly debated in Ireland. The Dunnes Stores strike led to high-level discussion over an embargo of fruit from the country.

Read: This day 30 years ago the Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strike began

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Paul Hosford


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