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The Irish Emigrant - March 5, 1989 | Print |  Email
Thursday, 08 January 2004
A bread price war put a leading bakery, employing 485 staff, into voluntary liquidation; a passenger plane landed at a disused airport near Aldergrove by mistake; a judge in Belfast assured Michael Stone that he would spend at least 30 years in prison after he was convicted of six murders (he served a little more than 11); and in Galway the airport was to get a terminal building and Eason's had purchased O'Gorman's.

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March 5, 1989 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.109

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Editor: Liam Ferrie Circulation: 430

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Monday's papers were full of reports from the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis. This was quickly followed by the damaging effects of the price war on the bakery industry. That and a recurrence of the argument about the Irish Sugar Company in Thurles provided plenty of ammunition for politicians to throw at each other. In fact political argument about both these issues dominated the news for the entire week.

BREAD PRICE WAR HOTS UP

The first major casualty of the bread price war was announced on Monday. Dublin's oldest bakery, Johnston, Mooney and O'Brien is to go into voluntary liquidation with the loss of 485 jobs. Another 64 self-employed van drivers will also be put out of work and no doubt there be further losses among the company's suppliers.

A company spokesperson said that all creditors will be paid in full but that in recent weeks, losses were being incurred and these could not be sustained. The company has been in operation for the last 150 years.

In response to this news, Fergal Quinn decided to increase the price of a loaf by 10p to 49p. He said that he hoped Dunnes would follow his example. They didn't.

The Minister for Industry and Commerce has come in for a load of criticism over the whole affair. He is being blamed for not introducing a pricing order that would have made it illegal to sell bread at uneconomical prices. He in turn criticised the parent company, Odlum's, for being opportunistic. Apparently the site on which the bakery stands was sold a year ago for an estimated £4m, (presumably with a view to building a new bakery with the latest technology installed). It then came to light that there might be a different reason for the drop in business experienced by J.M. and O'B. The company recently appeared in court and was found guilty of practices which constituted a health hazard.

The latest is that the management of the bakery is offering to buy the company from Odlum's. The Minister, Ray Burke, has said that state agencies will give any assistance required to ensure that this move is successful. Only about half the jobs are expected to be saved in this way.

POLITICAL FIGHTING

Ray Burke's period as the whipping boy of the opposition parties was shortened as they set their sights on Michael O'Kennedy. He was accused of various misdemeanours; he talked to a Finnish Sugar Company; he asked the board of the Irish Sugar Company to try to save the Thurles Factory; he had talks with Larry Goodman; he did not connect the fact that Liam Lawlor was a director of Food Industries PLC with his chairmanship of the committee for State sponsored bodies.

Much was made of all this, although it seems to me that as Minister for Agriculture he should, or at least was entitled to, be doing all of these things. Not publicising his actions when asked questions in the Dail seems to be the main criticism although he was also accused of interfering in the operation of a State sponsored body. Fianna Fail were quick to pull out old papers to show that his biggest critic, Alan Dukes, had done the same in respect of the Tuam sugar factory back in 1981.

I suppose you could say that O'Kennedy's problem was not so much that he told lies but that he didn't tell the truth.

BARRINGTON'S BACK IN THE NEWS

Barrington's Hospital in Limerick made news again after all the controversy over its closure last year. The hospital's board of management met to consider an offer of £500,000 from a prospective buyer. While it was in session a counter bid of £600,000 came in. The initial bid was from an English medical group headed by an Irishman. The later bid came from a mystery local man, represented by Gerard Madden of Shannon Dairies. The board recommended the higher offer but it is thought that when the 75 trustees meet next Thursday it will be rejected because it is not clear that it will continue as a hospital.

A group of local doctors are reported to have made a bid of £250,000 which was quickly rejected. The speculation now is that the final price could be as high as £1m.

AND HE WASN'T EVEN IRISH!

A German businessman who is resident in Ireland appeared in a Dublin court to claim compensation for having broken his shoulder in a fall. He was claiming that on October 7, 1985, the ESB were negligent in leaving rubble on a footpath. Under cross exam- ination Jurgen Fritz Weitz, a self-employed tourism and export consultant, agreed that he had been awarded £2,750 for a similar accident on May 20, 1985 and £6,040 for yet another similar one on February 14,1986. This is now thought to be his seventh claim for the same injury received at different times and in different circumstances but all witnessed by the same friend.

Weitz withdrew this latest claim and the matter has been referred to the fraud squad.

BY PLANE AND BUS TO ALDERGROVE

Twenty-nine passengers on a Dan Air flight from Newcastle-upon- Tyne in England, took an unusual route to get to Belfast's Aldergrove Airport. The plane landed on a disused airfield two miles from the proper runway. The airline initially cited bad weather as the reason for the mistake but later withdrew this when it was pointed out that conditions were excellent at the time. No explanation has been forthcoming since the incident, which occured on Thursday morning.

The bemused passengers were left on the aircraft for nearly an hour before boarding a coach which took them to the main terminal building. The captain and co-pilot were anxious to take off again and land at the correct airport but instead were whisked back to England to explain their actions.

The English newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, saw the irony of the episode in light of the many "Irish" jokes told in England and made it clear that it was an English crew which was flying the plane.

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- A Kate O'Brien Weekend was held in Limerick last weekend. The keynote lecture was delivered by a prominent Spanish politician, diplomat and writer Don Jose Maria de Arielza, Conde de Motrico. He was taught English by Kate O'Brien in the early 1920s.

- Armed policemen surrounded a group of Irish footballers at Manchester Airport last weekend as they were returning home. The group were told to lie on the floor with their arms outstretched. Later one of the party was fined ST£250 for having a water pistol in the waistband of his trousers.

- Twenty-two year old Martina Sheridan of Duleek, Co.Louth won over £600,000 in the National Lottery last weekend. She says that the win will not affect plans she and her boyfriend have for emigrating.

- Merrell Dow was granted planning permission for its proposed chemical plant at Killeagh, Co.Cork. A string of conditions were attached to the permission and the company says it will have to examine these in detail but thinks that work on the site will start in the early summer.

- The latest issue of Playboy magazine carries an interview with Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison and an unnamed member of the IRA. The magazine's British solicitor has advised that the magazine cannot go on sale in Britain unless one specific page is removed. I only know about this because it said so in the Irish Times and I don't want any of you using this an excuse to go out and buy it!

- An Aer Lingus executive criticised Irish Hotels for over- pricing when he spoke at the Hotels Federation conference in Tralee. He admitted that this lesson had been forced on Aer Lingus quite recently. Another speaker, Malcolm Noden of Cornell University, later criticised Aer Lingus for not having a 24-hour booking service on its New York free-phone number.

- The National Lottery had a turnover of £110m in 1988. £51m was returned in prize money and a surplus of £36.8m was transferred to the National Lottery Fund for distribution to beneficiaries.

- £500,000 is to be spent on a terminal building and car park at Galway Airport.

- The Goodman group are at loggerheads with Galway County Council over the proposed new meat processing plant in Tuam. The planning permission granted by the County Council stipulates that the group must pay £1.8m towards the building of a sewage processing plant for the town. A spokesman for Goodmans said they intended to build one for their own needs at a cost of £600,000. There is a danger that the plant might be built elsewhere.

- One of the two companies which applied for the franchise to run the third national television channel has had second thoughts and has pulled out of the race. The projected financial viability of a third channel was questioned and given as the reason. This leaves the Windmill Lane group, backed by the Smurfit Group, John Kelleher (ex-RTE and Strongbow), Paul McGuinness (U2's manager) and others, as almost certain to be awarded the franchise.

- Cork's Lord Mayor, Bernard Allen, has pulled out of the St. Patrick's Day parade in San Francisco on March 12 because the 80-year-old grand marshall, Danny McCormick, is a member of Noraid.

- The monthly recriminations about the number of jobless took place on Friday. The Government was delighted to announce the total number of people out of work had fallen by 3,900 in February. This was the largest February drop since the present method of counting was introduced in 1967. The opposition parties all agreed that the drop was entirely due to increased emigration.

- The Kennedy-Simpson Immigration Reform Bill, which lapsed when the last Congress, was disbanded has been reintroduced in the US Senate.

- A strike at the Crumlin Hospital for Children is causing difficulty with admissions. The reason for the strike? Who has to wheel the tea and biscuits to meetings of the board of management?

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- I had no sooner sent out last week's edition than another death was being reported in the North. The IRA claimed respons- ibility for shooting Joseph Fenton (35) of Andersonstown, last Sunday night. They said he was a "British agent" but the RUC claimed he had no connections with the security forces. This was an unusual claim from the IRA as they normally refer to "informers". At his funeral the priest strongly criticised the IRA but also made some remarks about the security forces which implied that the dead man had been pressurised into working for them.

- Within 24 hours the IRA was responsible for another death. This time a retired RUC Inspector died when a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car. Patrick Mullaly (54) of Belfast retired form the force two years ago.

- In his presidential address to last week's Ard Fheis, the Taoiseach invited Unionists to talks. His message to them was that their future was with the Republic in a "partnership of equals". Ian Paisley and John Taylor were swift in telling him what to do with his talks. The OUP said nothing officially until Tuesday and then announced that they were "deeply offended".

- Last week a British Parliamentary committee said that it would cost the taxpayer between £700m and £850m to make the Shorts company viable for privatisation. This week the British Government gave the company £390m to clear its debts. The balance is still needed if Shorts are to develop a new high technology passenger aircraft.

- Later in the week the British Government gave the names of two bidders for the Shorts company. They were Bombardier of Canada and a consortium of GEC and Fokker. A third party may also be invited to make a final bid.

- Michael Stone was found guilty of the murder of six people at the Belfast High Court. It was he who carried out the gun and grenade attack at Milltown cemetery during the funerals of the three who died in Gibralter. He was also found guilty of numerous other offences. He was given six life sentences and the judge said that he would spend the next thirty years in prison. The widow of one of his victims was interviewed on television afterwards and she was in a distraught state as she described the jeering of Stone's supporters outside the court house.

- The first Japanese company to locate in the North (making cigarette lighters) is to close its Ballymoney factory with the loss of 90 jobs.

- Four days after the main railway line linking Belfast and Dublin re-opened another bomb explosion has put it out of action. The line was closed for almost all of February following two explosions at Killnasaggart bridge. This latest explosion was at the Craigmore viaduct near Newry.

- Much publicity has been given to the appeal by Maze escaper Dermot Finnucane against his extradition to the North. He has been in court all week and the main plank of his case is that he will be assaulted by prison staff if he returns North. His counsel, Patrick McEntee, has spent two days cross-examining a former director of prisons in the North about the treatment of prisoners in the Maze after the mass breakout in 1982. While the former director has not agreed with Mr McEntee's terminology he has not denied that prisoners were assaulted.

- An IRA car bomb injured four soldiers and three RUC officers outside Girdwood barracks in North Belfast last night. None of the injuries was serious.

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Reporter: Richard O'Shaughnessy @GAO

- The second group of volunteers from Galway, working temporarily in Nicaragua to help with the coffee harvesting, have returned home after a six week stint. The 'Peadar O'Donnell' brigade as they were known in Galway passed through many miseries including Spike Milligan's 'Montazumas Revenge', general gastric problems, and one case of typhoid.

The purpose of the visit was not solely driven as a result of economic necessity on the Nicaraguan coffee harvest, but the exposure of these volunteers to Nicaraguan society and on-hand explanation of recent events in their country. The group regularly met on a formal and informal basis with local people, trade union representatives, and young Sandinista leaders to gain an insight into this very troubled central American state.

- Over the past two weeks there have been two practically identical robberies on bookie shops in Galway. The first was about three weeks ago when a lone assailant entered Mulhollands on Williams Street West early in the morning,produced a knife and absconded with £3,500. This week saw the same scenario except for the scene of the crime, on this occasion Dominick Street, where the haul was £1,500.

The Gardai are following a definite line of inquiry.

- Mick Taylor's bar has been advertised in local papers as for sale. The entire premises is on offer which includes the house and bar (which has been closed since his death). Tributes have being flooding into local papers about Mick and his many idiosyncrasies which make for extremely humorous reading but with heavy melancholic undertones.

- Quietness has returned to the western front with the species 'Academia Extremius Collegius Weekius' returning to its lair for another year of hibernation. I, as a Galway male am relieved that one no longer has to paint one's face like Marcel Marceau, wear tight fitting shocking pink numbers, and three inch stilettos just to gain entrance to a house of fun. Sometimes I think that students live like Oscar Wilde's maxim, 'There's only one thing worse than being talked about..and that's not being talked about'

- With the impending closure of O'Gormans (which has been sold to Easons) the offices of the Galway Advertiser are moving next door into Church Lane. The Advertiser is now in it's nine- teenth year of publication and employs over ten people, not bad from a one man back room eight page newsletter all those years ago.

- The movies which are currently pulling the punters into cinemas in Galway are:

The Accused The Claddagh Palace The Naked Gun " " Arthur II The Town Hall

- An Taibhdhearc, the Irish theatre in town, is putting on "Mise Rafteiri an File" a play about the life a poet who roamed these parts almost 200 years ago. This play was last staged in 1973 with the leading role played by an aspiring young collegiate actor - Mick 'Holy God' Lally.

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- Political ingenuity by the Opposition Parties looks like delaying a General Election for another while. Fine Gael and the Progressive Democrats were defiant in the face of the Taoiseach's threat to call an election on the rod licence issue. The Labour Party has come to the rescue however. They have put forward a Dail motion to have the licence dropped totally. Fine Gael and the PDs have said they cannot support this so it is fair to assume that Labour will not support the Fine Gael motion for a voluntary contribution from anglers.

- The Minister for Justice travelled to London for a meeting with the British Minister for Home Affairs. While there he also met the British Attorney General. There wasn't much indication as to the subject under discussion. Mr Collins did say something about 1992 but everyone talks about that.

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Reporter: Richard O'Shaughnessy @GAO

- There were no major gigs this week but some announcements were made regarding new concerts in the not too distant future.

Courtney Pine (one of the brightest up and coming Jazz men in England at the moment) is playing at the National Concert Hall on March 10th.

Christy Moore is back on the trail again with a week in Dublin.

Anybody out there from Texas..next week Omar and the Howlers, an R+B band from good 'ol yellow rose state, are playing in the Olympia, I know nothing about them barring their rather interesting name.

- New singles out this week from Irish performers

The Stunning - Romeo's on Fire

Something Happens - Forget Georgia

Missing Link - I'm in love ??????

( ?? I think it was early this morning)

Elvis Costello - Veronica

- The album chart in Ireland at the moment:

1) Mystery Girl Roy Orbison

2) Fisherman's Blues The Waterboys

3) The Raw and The Cooked Fine Young Cannibals

4) The Marquee 30 Legendary Years

5) Spike Elvis Costello

6) The Legendary Roy Orbison ......

7) Technique New Order

8) A New Flame Simply Red

9) Anything For You Gloria Estafan + Miami Sound Machine

10) Rattle and Hum U2

- The singles chart is as follows:

1) Ballads of the Streets Simple Minds

2) The Living Years Mike + The Mechanics

3) Something's gotten hold of my Heart Marc Almond + Gene Pitney

4) Love Train Holly Johnson

5) It's only love Simply Red

- It's interesting to note that in the album charts 10 years ago a relatively new band called Elvis Costello and The Attractions released an album - Armed Forces ( which was at no 7 that week) and their single Oliver's Army was no 3. Ten years down the road he's back again...you can't keep a bad thing down for very long.

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A TALE OF DEDICATION

The procedure for getting the rugby report to you is that Mike takes home a laptop computer on Friday. We both go swimming at the Digital session in Leisureland on Sunday evening where he hands over the laptop and the completed report.

I was concerned today when he did not appear in the pool. Eventually I noticed his wife and I asked her what had happened to him. She assured me that he was alright and that he was outside in the car finishing off the report. He was just starting the second half when she left him.

Sure enough when I emerged from the dressing rooms there was Mike with the computer hanging from his shoulder. He had just completed the report when the battery warning light came on. So there now, I hope you appreciate Mike gaving up his weekly swim so that you would not feel deprived. Mind you, it was a lot more peaceful at the deep end without his huge arms churning up the water like a paddle steamer as he does the backstroke and scatters other swimmers in all directions.

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EXCHANGE RATES:

IRISH POUND Mar 3 Feb 24

Sterling 0.8398 0.8306

US Dollar 1.4465 1.4754

Deutschmark 2.6630 2.6656

French franc 9.0544 9.0869

Dutch guilder 3.0060 3.0094

Belgian franc 55.8400 55.8300

Italian lira 1966.1600 1965.3000

Spanish peseta 166.2000 167.2400

Swiss franc 2.2804 2.2750

Austrian schilling 18.7400 18.7300

Canadian dollar 1.7264 1.7470

Australian dollar 1.7818 1.7687

- A week or two ago workers at Waterford Glass rejected management proposals for cost cutting measures within the group. The workers have now come up with their own plan. They say they will do whatever is necessary if they are given a 33% stake in the company. After two meetings with management the workers agreed to co-operate in implementing cost-cutting and productivity measures to allow time for an agreement to be reached.

- Two North American direct mail companies are setting up an operation in Dundalk which will create 115 jobs.

- The Revenue Commissioners are attempting to obtain a winding-up order against Magill Publications Ltd because of about £50,000 in outstanding debts. Magill Publications Holdings has now purchased the title from Magill Publications Ltd and the magazine will continue to be published.

- A British property company paid £1.55m for a fifth of an acre near Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin. The land was being used as a car-park.

- Conroy Petroleum announced that it had received independent confirmation of the value of its zinc ore body at Galmoy, Co. Kilkenny. The company's shares rose from 80p to 93 on this news.

- Davy Stockbrokers recommended InishTech to investors as "an attractive opportunity for investors to participate in a fast growing industrial holding company". The company's stock closed the week at 400p.

- A special tribunal has recommended substantially longer opening hours for the country's banks. The management of the banks has been told to sit down with the Union and reach agreement as to how this can be implemented. A lump sum payment has been suggested and agreement is expected in April or June.

- Ms Barbara Nugent has been reinstated as managing director of the Sunday Tribune. In resigning two weeks ago she cited irreconcilable differences with the group chief executive, Mr Vincent Browne. She will now report direct to the Board.

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National Hurling League - Div I:

Galway 0-12 Tipperary 1-7

Waterford 0-10 Offaly 1-16

Wexford 3-6 Kilkenny 2-11

Antrim 1-12 Limerick 0-17

National Hurling League - Div II:

Dublin 2-13 Clare 2-11

Kerry 3-10 Westmeath 4-11

Meath 0-4 Cork 3-9

Derry 0-8 Loais 1-9

Sigerson Cup Final:

St.Mary's 3-13 UCC 1-5

(Belfast)

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FAI Cup - Second Round:

Limerick City 0 Drogheda United 0

FAI Cup - Second Round Replay:

Drogheda United 3 Limerick City 1

FAI Cup - Second Round, Second Replay:

Finn Harps 0 Bray Wanderers 1

- This game was finally played on Sunday after the pitch was declared unplayable on Thursday. Bray will now play Drogheda during the week.

FAI Cup - Quarter Finals:

Derry City 3 Longford Town 0

Dundalk 2 Cork City 2

Home Farm 1 Shamrock Rovers 1

League of Ireland - Premier Division:

Wednesday: Derry City 1 St.Patrick's A. 0

Saturday: Bohemians 1 Galway Utd 0

Friendly: St.Patrick's A. 3 Motherwell 3

- Ireland play Hungary in Budapest on Wednesday in a World Cup qualifying game.

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SCOTLAND v IRELAND at Murrayfield - March 4th 1989

Reporter : Mike Hughes (GAOV08::MHUGHES)

Ireland's final game of the championship is also my last rugby report for 1989. To look at manicured Murrayfield you'd be forgiven for thinking that it was the month of May. The setting for this game was not perfect however as there was a very strong swirling wind. Come to think of it the 1989 season has been nothing if not breezy from the Irish perspective as three of the games have been played in high wind conditions including the day against Wales, but Cardiff has overcome this particular element with an enclosed stadium. Breezy it was, and the stage was set for an encounter that would also sort out the windy of character.

There was a full house in attendance and there was no shortage of tricolours either, a lot of Irish people had made the journey, no doubt a few meetings scheduled for (DEC) Ayr were all happening on Friday. The Royal Bank of Scotland were the sponsors for the game and they presented a new trophy (the Quaich) for the event which will be contested annually between these two Celtic nations. Scotland were in fine fettle having come out of Twickenham with a share of the spoils and facing an Irish team that was struggling to find the magic formula. The Irish had been a trifle unlucky against the French and had been well beaten by the English pack, and now they were facing a pack that had given the English one everything they had got. The referee appointed was Kerry Fitzgerald of Australia with two Welsh sideline judges to assist him.

Ireland won the toss and elected to play with the assistance of the Force 7 so Scotland teed it up and set the proceedings in motion at 2.31 p.m. The kick-off went straight into touch and when the two packs returned to the centre for the scrummage, they each left one of their number sprawled on the sideline behind them, for Jeffries and Mannion had had an informal and unsched- uled tete a tete in the early clash that left them both a bit bewildered. Ireland put the ball into the scrum but Scotland came up with ball and lofted the garryowen into the swirling wind. Dunlea was equal to the task and Ireland were awarded a penalty. Play was sent back up into the Scottish half and from the line out Neil Francis went charging upfield. From the break- down the ball was fed back and Ireland went on the short side in a very threatening move that only failed when Kiernan knocked on. The Scottish defence had been well stretched by that move. A short time later the ball was forced into touch still inside the Scottish 22 metre area, and Ireland again won possession from the line-out. The ball was fed out and Dean sent a searching kick cross-field for Crossan to run onto but it carried too far into the end zone and the Scottish full back dealt with the matter comfortably. The drop out from Chalmers went straight into touch again and Ireland got a scrum back. The Scottish pack was dominating the scrummage and the Irish possession was being completely disrupted. Sole in the front row was giving McCoy a nightmare. Calder, White, and Jeffries were making sure that any- thing that was loose on the fringes was well clipped. Even the blades of grass were getting their attention. Scotland were defending hard but they looked like they were absorbing the early Irish fire fairly well.

Scotland worked their way out from the danger area, and lofted the garryowen once more but it carried back on the wind, the Scottish forwards gathered but a pass was judged forward. Ireland had the put in but it took some time before that task could be executed due to very messy front row play. In the next couple of minutes the play went up and down the field. Scotland worked their way back up towards the Irish 22 metre line and were rewarded by a penalty for an Irish offside in a ruck. Peter Dodds set up the ball but the wind blew it over so Milne had to do the fingertip hold, a la American football practice. John Jeffries meanwhile was on the sideline getting some attention. Peter Dodds struck the penalty straight and true. Scotland 3, Ireland 0 and 12 minutes gone. Jeffries returned to the fray shortly thereafter when Ireland had gone down towards the Scottish 22 metre zone. Scotland won clean possession and sent the attack back into the Irish half. Another garryowen and this time Dunlea fluffed the catch. The Scottish forwards piled in and the ball was cleanly fed. It was a fantastic sequence of passes involving the Scottish back-line with Armstrong feeding Hastings, who fed Tukelo, who was unstoppable going over in the corner. Peter Dodds had a difficult task with the conversion and was blameless in missing this one. Sixteen minutes gone then and Scotland had seven points on the board. Chalmers at out-half for Scotland was showing terrific form and why wouldn't he as the supply from his forwards was magnificent. After this, Ireland went back up to within 2 yards of the Scottish line. Ireland put tremendous pressure on and eventually won a 5 metre scrum. Ireland fed back cleanly, and Dean took the defence on by going square for the posts and then working the scissors with Mullin when the defence was wrong footed. Mullin was in full flight and he powered into the gap. Calder tackled but the momentum of Mullin was unstoppable. The try was a classic in execution and timing and the conversion from Kiernan did it full justice. The first quarter was just over and the game was wide open at 7 - 6.

Scotland were galvanised by this setback and the pack piled it on. Sole and Cronin were extremely prominent. On many occasions they lofted the garryowen to unsettle the Irish defence. Another great drive brought Scotland up to the Irish 22 metre zone. Ireland were penalised and Scotland elected to run the ball. They were stopped, but in the process they gained a second penalty which they also ran. This time they worked up close to the Irish line and with Sole prominent in the movement the ball was transferred out to the unstoppable Jeffries. This time Peter Dodds did the business and at the 30 minute mark the score was 13-6, against the wind, in favour of Scotland.

One minute later Armstrong sent Scotland back up with a brilliant kick down the sideline. The Irish feed was disrupted and Scot- land swung the ball out along the line and a neat little switch back in by Tukelo left the Irish line at his mercy. Peter Dodds stepped up once more and opened the gap by the additional measure. Three minutes later Ireland got a penalty for line-out barging and although it was five metres inside the Irish half Kiernan elected to take a shot a goal. It was a hefty punt and from only 15 yards in from the sideline it sailed on a high trajectory and split the posts at the end of its flight. This reduced the embarrassing margin to 10 points 19 - 9.

A good return by Ahearn was followed by a big Matthews break up the sideline. Ireland won a scrum from the breakdown of play and for once sent a clean ball out to Dean who collected the attention of the Scottish defence before feeding Mullin. Mullin drew his markers and fed Dunlea who ran in a text book try, his first for his country. Kiernan made light of the conversion and the gap was reduced to four points. Ireland had got a new lease of life and with an improved feed from the forwards the back-line was opening up. Indeed when the Irish line was in full flight the Scottish defence was a little bit suspect. The game moved into injury time and Ireland returned to the offensive. In a scintillating piece of play the Irish line swung into action from the base of a ruck. Mullin fed Dunlea who fed little Keith Crossan who took three blue shirts on board in the tackle but on the loop on the outside was the fleet-footed Mullin who collected the pass and the Scottish line was wide open. Kiernan didn't miss this one either and the Irish were into the lead at 21 points to 19. The Australian referee intervened and intonated the interval signal.

There were fluttering hearts all over the place. Pulsating, mind boggling rugby. One could be forgiven for thinking that we were watching an exhibition. It was text book stuff. Every facet of the code had been exploited, every ploy tried and a few new ones also. Scotland had dominated the half thanks to their fantastic play up front. Ireland had struggled to get into their stride but when they did they were a magnificent sight. There is a latent talent in this Irish three-quarter line that needs development. The Scottish back row, especially White and the prop Sole, were the heroes of the first half just edging out Tukelo in my opinion. Despite all that magic however the omens for Scotland were good. They would enjoy the benefit of a huge breeze in the second period. The Scottish forwards were ruining the day for their Irish counterparts. Apart from Neil Francis there were no Irish forwards of note. Ahearn was having a bad day but the quality of his supply was abysmal, thanks to Calder & Co. If I was a betting man and an Irishman I'd be taking a leaf out of the Scots book and keeping my money in my pocket. I was of the opinion that it would take a huge Irish effort to stave off a defeat.

On the resumption Scotland won a scrum against the head. Tukelo was prominent again in a Scottish surge down-field, but the play was broken down. Then Scotland got a penalty on the Irish 22 for an offside by Lenihan. Dodds popped the kick over and the Scottish lead of the narrowest of margins was restored. Ireland were spoiling the play and the pace dropped but the Scottish pressure was intense. Another penalty like the first was awarded and Peter Dodds opened the gap to four points again on the seventh minute. Then when Ireland began to respond the good work was ruined by a couple of appalling passes by Ahearn. This usually accomplished player was having an indifferent time of it.

White was very prominent at this stage in the Scottish attack. Still on one occasion when Scotland were camped on the Irish line a very determined burst of impassioned rugby drove the Blue tide back out of the 22. An indication that the Scottish pack was beginning to wilt just a little also. By now that pace had dropped significantly. Ireland worked their way out of trouble and when their turn came on the halfway line with a penalty they too elected to run it but they screwed it up. Irwin did well to retrieve and hold his footing. Cronin for Scotland then carried a driving attack up into the Irish 22. Ireland responded and Neil Francis once again went on a raging burst down-field but the play broke down when Dunlea knocked on. Then the rain started and the handling would no longer be that simple. Ireland, though on the rack, showed good fire and the gap was not getting any wider. Another good Irish counter-attack was started but it too was broken down by a handling error, this time by Dean. Armstrong punted the ball for a fine touch, back in the Irish 22 zone. From the line-out the ball was handled sharply by the Scottish back row who fed through to the big Damien Cronin who crashed over for a well deserved and very popular try. Dodds added the 2 points and the game was out of Irish reach. There were thirty two minutes gone and it was some credit to the Irish that they had held the line until then. Robertson executed a brilliant return from a Dean garryowen and a penalty was won when Lenihan was again offside in the line-out. This time Dodds slipped as he kicked and he failed to widen the gap further. Later a great Scottish move was set up and the Irish defence was opened wide but Tukelo was selfish in trying to make it himself and he knocked on in the tackle. On the 36 minute mark Ireland won a scrum against the head, a sign that I took to mean that both packs had run themselves into the ground. In the last minutes Scotland were camped in Irish territory, and the siege was intense. Then, well into injury time, the Scots spread the attack wide and it appeared to be covered, but a pass for Linneen was missed out and Tukelo took it well first time, although a tad unexpectedly. A class player takes crumbs and he strode out magnificently for the line. Peter Dodds added the conversion and the game was over. Scotland 37 Ireland 21.

A great Scottish victory and their highest ever score against Ireland. This victory was owed totally to the Scottish pack. It was their fire and brimstone approach in the first half that ensured that Ireland would have no cushion to take into the second half. Sole, Cronin, White and Calder were brilliant. I think that I would just shade it for White as my "man of the match". The Irish had played well enough in the second half and very well in the second half of the first half. It was in the first 20 minutes that they threw this game away. Kiernan's penalty kick was doubtless the best kick of the day and his best ever I think, but Peter Dodds was flawless and what a fine servant he has been to Scotland.

Ireland are finished for 1989 and they only have two points to show for it. I find myself a bit bewildered by their form in 1989 as they certainly appeared to be getting their act together. But in the end they turned out to be a team of two distinct halves. Early on, the pack were out on their own, but the backs were very suspect. In the last two games the pack was well beaten but the backs had done well.

Eight tries then in Murrayfield, no small achievement. There is nothing like another year. See ye again in 1990. Galway for the world hurling title in the summer.

Internationals:

Scotland 37 Ireland 21

England 11 France 0

Selected Club Games:

Saturday: Lansdowne 12 Constitution 22

Garryowen 7 Terenure College 9

Greystones 47 Bohemians 13

NIFC 18 Collegians 12

Dublin Uni. 16 Ballymena 44

Dudley Cup: UCG 3 UCC 31

> > > > > > > > > > > ATHLETICS < < < < < < < < < < <

- Marcus O'Sullivan had a very impressive win in the 1,500 race at the World Indoor Championships in Budapest today. Sydney Maree went off at a fast pace and O'Sullivan remained on his heels until about 200 metres from the finish. At that point he sprinted past Maree and nobody looked like catching him. His winning time was 1.04 seconds outside his own world indoor record.

- Frank O'Mara failed in his attempt to retain his 3,000 metre title.

> > > > > > > > > > > MOTOR SPORT < < < < < < < < < < <

- Loughrea man Gerard Conroy (28) died in a car crash in the Hills of Donegal Rally. He was navigator for his brother when the car hit a tree near Convoy. The race was cancelled.

> > > > > > > > > > > W E A T H E R < < < < < < < < < < <

Winter stayed with us until Wednesday which, although still on the cool side, was bright and sunny. Heavy rain overnight and on Thursday morning gave way to bright sunny weather for the remainder of the week except for the odd shower. Sunday wasn't quite so pleasant, remaining overcast throughout the day with heavy rain early and late. Now in the late evening it has turned very stormy.

This was the mildest winter for three or four decades as recorded at the country's weather stations. At Malin Head it was the mildest for over 100 years.

Latest Temperatures:

Night 6C Day 11C

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* This newsletter has been prepared primarily from *

* press and radio reports. It should not be taken *

* as representing the views of my employer or those *

* of other companies within the group. *

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