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The Irish Emigrant - January 14, 1990 | Print |  Email
Friday, 03 December 2004
In a very violent week three would-be robbers armed with imitation guns were shot dead by soldiers in Belfast; one of five armed robbers was shot dead in an exchange of fire with gardaí in Athy, Co. Kildare; and a Co. Wicklow Church of Ireland rector was stabbed to death by an intruder. In other news the health service was in crisis; more than 10,000 of 15,000 Donnelly visas issued went to Irish people, and former US President Reagan attended an Ireland Fund dinner in Los Angeles.

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January 14, 1990 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.154

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Editor: Liam Ferrie Circulation: 641

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It was a violent week which got worse as time went by. It culminated in three would-be robbers being shot dead in Belfast on Saturday morning. Another robber was shot and killed by Gardai in Athy the previous day. Earlier in the week a Church of Ireland rector was killed in his home by an intruder.

The difficulties being experienced in the Health Service provided the top story in the Irish Times on two days. Another two days were catered for by a major speech which the Northern Secretary made and which, for some, offered a slight change in direction which just might lead to all-party talks.

THREE SHOT DEAD IN BELFAST

Three men, in the act of committing a robbery, were shot dead by two undercover soldiers in West Belfast on Saturday morning. The incident happened at around 11:00am outside Sean Graham's betting office at the junction of the Falls Road and the Whiterock Road. Initially there was a dispute between the RUC and locals as to whether or not the raiders were armed. Today the RUC has put two replica guns on display, which they claim were recovered from the scene. Witnesses say that no attempt was made to challenge the raiders and this has not been disputed. Those who were at the scene appear to be unanimous that as soon as the two men stepped outside the shop they were "mown down". The third man was killed in the car. More than one witness claims that after the men were brought down, further shots were fired into their bodies to "finish them off". One soldier was seen to "fumble in his pocket" and produced another magazine for this purpose. After this the soldiers got into a car and drove off. A pensioner who was passing by at the time was hit by a bullet and received a minor wound.

This incident has caused great concern among the Nationalist community. Dr Joe Hendron of the SDLP has called for an inquiry and likened the shooting to "Gibraltar". He does acknowledge that men in balaclavas with imitation guns are running a grave risk of being shot, but is nevertheless concerned at what he believes is a shoot-to-kill policy being carried out by nameless individuals who do not appear to be answerable to anyone. The Government here has asked for a report on the killings through the Anglo-Irish Secretariat. Opposition politicians in Britain also expressed their concern.

Those who died were named as Peter Thompson (21), Edward Hale (25) and John McNeil (25). All are said to have criminal records and there is no question of them being involved with the IRA, the INLA or any other paramilitary organisation. In fact, Hale was the victim of an IRA punishment shooting in 1987.

ATHY BANK RAID FOILED - RAIDER SHOT DEAD

Effective Garda intelligence foiled a bank raid in Athy at lunch time on Friday. In an ensuing gun battle seven people received gunshot wounds. One of them, a bank raider named as Austin Higgins of Dublin, later died in hospital.

Five armed men arrived at the Bank of Ireland in Athy at about noon and, while one stayed in the car, three went into the bank and the other guarded the entrance. Before the men in the bank came out with the money they were surrounded by armed Gardai. Shooting broke and three raiders were hit. The other two retreated back inside and held a number of customers and bank staff hostage. A priest entered the bank to talk to the men and at about two o'clock the hostages were released and the raiders surrendered. In the earlier shooting a garda officer, a passer-by and two bank officials were also injured. All five raiders were armed.

Local people in Athy say that for more than a week plain clothes Gardai had kept the bank under surveillance from the nearby fire station. Some people have expressed disquiet with the way the incident was handled. Their argument is that, with the intelligence available to them, the Gardai should have been able to intercept the raiders in a less crowded place. Gardai claim that the shooting started when the driver of the get-away car opened fire after his car was blocked in by two garda cars.

That was the second success that Gardai had with armed bank raiders during the week. On Monday an unarmed officer received two gunshot wounds when three armed men were foiled in an attempt to rob the Ranelagh branch of the AIB. The injured officer's condition was not serious. The would- be robbers escaped empty handed.

THE HEALTH SERVICE

On Monday the Minister for Health met with the the chief executives of the country's eight health boards. Afterwards he denied that there was any crisis in the health service. He said that there was an emergency which was being managed. Since the beginning of December there has been a 40% increase in hospital admissions. This is put down to the effect of the 'flu epidemic on the elderly.

There were at least two stories about elderly patients being refused admission to hospital and dying some days later. These occurred in Ennis and Roscommon. Both Health Boards denied that anything untoward had happened. After investigations they were satisfied that when the patients first turned up at the hospitals their condition did not warrant admission. The subsequent deaths were from heart attacks and when these occurred both patients had already been admitted to hospital.

On Monday, the Minister for Health announced that he was going to implement, ahead of schedule, some recommendations regarding the care of the elderly. This will create an increase in the level of home care which the elderly will receive.

Fine Gael and Labour are vying with each other to pass a motion of "no confidence" in the Minister for Health. Ivan Yates was the first to say he would table such a motion. Initially Labour offered support but then Brendan Howlin, a constituency rival of Yates, said he was tabling a separate motion.

The Minister had to postpone a scheduled meeting with consultants from Galway because of "pressure of work".

> > > > > > > > > BITS AND PIECES < < < < < < < < <

- There were rumours that the Minister for the Marine had a secret meeting with leaders of the Anti-rod Licence Campaign in Roscommon last Sunday. The Department of the Marine had no comment to make and the anglers said that they just had a meeting among themselves.

- The Rev Stephen Hilliard (42), the Church of Ireland Rector in the village of Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, died of stab wounds when he was attacked in his rectory by an intruder on Tuesday morning. Mrs Hilliard woke up at 3:00am when she heard her husband shouting at someone in their bedroom. Mr Hilliard attempted to grapple with the intruder and was stabbed in the neck. He died in hospital a few hours later. Gardai believe that robbery was the motive. The dead man was once a sub-editor with Irish Times. He was ordained in 1986 and appointed to Rathdrum three weeks ago. At the moment two men are being questioned about the killing by the Gardai.

- Alan Gillis formally took over the presidency of the IFA on Tuesday.

- John Carroll, who until the end of December was president of the ITGWU, has retired after one week as joint president of the new union SIPTU. There was nothing sinister in that as he just reached retirement age and it was widely known that he would be leaving. Carroll's union career spans 46 years and he has been one of the country's leading trade unionists.

- Fr Patrick Ryan, the controversial priest who is wanted by the British authorities, has been expelled from the Pallotine order.

- For a brief period the top story on Thursday morning concerned a three-day old baby who had been taken from Holles Street maternity unit late on Wednesday night. While one of the presenters of the "Morning Ireland" was interviewing a doctor from the hospital, word came through that the baby had been returned to the Rotunda Hospital. Later it was revealed that a pregnant woman in her early twenties had taken the child and returned it voluntarily. Gardai have no plans to bring charges against her.

- There was some controversy over the lightness of the sentence handed to a soldier who raped an 11-year-old girl. Most people who commented felt that the three-year suspended sentence was far too lenient. Because the offence took place in the child's house while her mother was at home and the defendant was drunk, the judge appeared to feel that the enormity of the act was reduced. He was also influenced by an army officer who provided a character witness. In passing sentence he said that it was most unlikely the defendant would commit a similar crime.

- Some time during Thursday night/Friday morning thieves broke into Dunsany Castle in Co.Meath and removed five valuable paintings. Two of the stolen paintings were by Jack B. Yeats and the others were by van Dyck. Their total value is estimated at between £1m and £2m. Lord Dunsany was in hospital at the time of the raid. His wife and a friend were sleeping in another wing of the castle and did not hear anything. There is no security alarm installed in the 800-year- old building.

- An analysis of children's names reported in the births column of the Irish Times in 1989 showed that David, with 29, was the most popular, followed by Conor on 27. Among the girls, Rachel (22) and Sarah (18) were the favourites.

- A judge ordered a factory in Co.Meath to close after repeated pollution problems. Lienpro Ltd of Dunboyne processes animal by-products and employs 15. The company has been operating since 1977 without planning permission.

- Another child from a travelling family has died when their caravan home went on fire. Two- year-old Pricilla Maughan died at a permanent halting site in Swords, Co.Dublin on Friday evening. Her 4-year-old sister is in a critical condition in hospital.

> > > > > > > > > NORTHERN NEWS < < < < < < < < <

- A Derry man who has been in custody in London since October was released on Monday and immediately re-arrested so that the police could apply for an exclusion order against him. Daniel McBrearty was held after it was alleged that forensic tests indicated he had been handling explosives. The prosecution now says that the tests cannot be confirmed. McBrearty was escorted onto a plane for Belfast on Tuesday morning and has been barred from returning to Britain for the next three years. No reason was given, nor need be given, for the issuance of the order.

- The Protestant Action Force claimed responsibility for killing Catholic taxi driver, Martin Byrne in Lurgan last Sunday.

- The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gerry Collins, was in London to discuss the Birmingham Six case with the British Home Secretary. Afterwards Collins said that new evidence submitted by lawyers for the Six would be given "priority" consideration by the Home Secretary. Chris Mullen, the British Labour MP who has been fighting for the release of the Six, said that the British Government was so embarrassed over the case that it was only a matter of time before they were released.

- Late last Sunday the RUC searched a number of premises in West Belfast including the headquarters of Sinn Fein. Television pictures indicated that damage was extensive. A number of people were arrested. These included Sinn Fein publicity director, Danny Morrison. Later in the week five men including Morrison were remanded in custody on a number of charges, including conspiracy to murder. Apparently, in the house where they were arrested, the police discovered a man who had been abducted in Derry 48 hours earlier.

- In an unrelated operation a number of loyalists were arrested in Belfast on Monday morning. They were taken to Castlereagh interrogation centre where they were to be questioned by members of the Stevens Inquiry team which is looking into allegations of collusion between the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries. The Independent newspaper of London claimed that a number of loyalists had been tipped off about this operation and went into hiding. The RUC deny this emphatically and say that nine of the ten men they were looking for were in fact detained.

- More Loyalists were arrested later in the week. These included Tommy Lyttle, one of the leaders of the UDA. The RUC refused to say if these arrests were related to the Stevens inquiry.

- A part-time member of the UDR died instantly when two gunmen burst into his shop and opened fire on him on Tuesday evening. This incident occurred in Castlederg and the dead man was named as Alwyn Kilpatrick. The gunmen left a bomb on the premises. It exploded about thirty minutes later and slightly injured a policeman.

- The Northern Secretary, Peter Brooke, made a speech on Tuesday calling on the various political parties to commence talks on devolved Government. This made headlines because he hinted that, if such talks were successful, there could be "substantial implications for the Anglo-Irish Agreement". The speech was given a guarded welcome by Unionists. The Government here appeared to support what he said as did the SDLP.

- A third-floor office in RUC premises near Carrickfergus was severely damaged by fire on Wednesday evening. The office was being used by members of the Stevens inquiry team and was locked up 45 minutes before the fire was discovered. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Mr Stevens said that the fire would have no impact on his work as all the files which were burned were duplicated elsewhere.

- Three soldiers were injured in two separate explosions in Belfast on Wednesday evening. All were said to be in a satisfactory condition.

- A British soldier has been charged with the attempted murder of RUC officers. The incident was supposed to have happened during loyalist protests against the Stevens Inquiry when the soldier, a native of Belfast, was home on leave.

- Three men were arrested in the Co.Tyrone village of Donaghmore on Thursday night. In a follow- up search the following morning two rifles were found. The Ulster Unionist MP, Ken Maginnis attended a meeting in Donaghmore on Thursday night. The RUC are not commenting on these "coincidences" but the media draws the obvious conclusion, that the IRA were about to make an attempt on Mr Maginnis's life.

- There were incidents at two unapproved border crossings this weekend. Eleven people were arrested by the RUC as they attempted to re-open a crossing on the Donegal-Derry border on Saturday. This afternoon a man was hit with a plastic bullet on the Monaghan-Tyrone border. He was among a crowd of about 100 who were removing a barrier at Ballagh Bridge. The injured man was taken to Monaghan General Hospital where he was being treated for a head injury. Eyewitnesses claim that he was thirty yards inside the South when he was hit.

> > > > > EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS < < < < <

- The receiver was brought into Ballybay Meats and the company ceased operations on Monday. 170 jobs were lost and local farmers say they are owed over £1m for pigs which were supplied to the plant.

- Some private school-bus drivers, on contract to Bus Eireann, went on a one-day strike on Monday to protest at not receiving any increase in mileage allowance for five or six years. Bus Eireann says that only a few drivers supported the action but this is disputed by the drivers' association.

- Galway is to get 140 new jobs in a healthcare plant which is to open in the old Crown Controls factory in Mervue. A Kansas based company, Puritan-Bennett, announced its plans at a press conference in Galway on Thursday. Initially 70 jobs will be created and this is expected to double by 1993. The new company will be managed by Tom Gaskin.

- On the same day that this news was released the town of Ballina heard that it was losing a similar number of jobs. The Hollister company said that because of serious marketing problems it had to halve its workforce. Hollister has been manufacturing healthcare products in Ballina for the last sixteen years.

- Ryanair had to pay £500 to a married woman who had applied to it for a job. The Labour Court found that her application had been treated unfairly due to her marital status. The woman claimed that she would only be considered for ground work although she had applied for the position of cabin attendant. Afterwards a spokesperson for Ryanair would only say that the company was an equal opportunity employer.

- The Irish Times carried eight and a half pages of job advertisements on Friday. This was one of the largest ever but the trend for many of the jobs to be overseas continues. One Dublin firm of "head-hunters" took a full page and all the jobs were in England except for two vacancies in its own office. Another ad offered to find jobs for the holders of Donnelly visas and yet another was trying to attract people to Vancouver.

- The Minister for Industry and Commerce announced 600 new jobs for Co.Cork. As part of this he was confirming 300 jobs being created by Metropolitan Life of New York in Fermoy. (I don't recall the original announcement on that one). The IDA are assisting Motorola in setting up a new £14m software development centre in Cork city. FMC International are to undertake a multi- million pound development but I have no details except that these two projects will create 180 jobs. The other 120 jobs will come on stream over five years as ILC Industries of New York establishes a manufacturing and research facility in the city.

> > > > > > > > > POLITICS & POLITICIANS < < < < < < < < <

- Albert Reynolds was again telling us that he has limited opportunity to cut taxes because of the cost of servicing the national debt. Comments from Des O'Malley would indicate that this matter is going to get a lot of discussion at the cabinet table. The PDs are anxious to get started in reducing the tax rates in line with their election manifesto.

> > > > > > > > > TRAVEL AND TOURISM < < < < < < < < <

- The Liverpool car ferry is no more. The last boat from Dun Laoghaire to Liverpool left last Tuesday. The service was taken over by Sealink a few years ago after many years operation by B+I. Economics is given as the reason for Sealink closing the route. Lower airfares in recent years have attracted many travellers to the air.

- Manx Air sees the above news as an opportunity to operate a joint service on the Dublin- Liverpool route with Ryanair.

- Club Med announced that it will include Ireland in its list of holiday destinations. This is the first time the company has become involved in a holiday area outside the traditional "sun- spots". Club Med has entered a joint venture with Ryanair and the first step is to refurbish Waterville Lake Hotel which was recently purchased by the airline. A further three hotels will eventually be opened. The locations were not given but it is assumed that one will be in Galway.

- From May you will no longer be able to travel first class on Aer Lingus across the Atlantic. The airline has decided to expand and improve the executive class passenger area instead.

> > > > > > > > > THE IRISH ABROAD < < < < < < < < <

- Paul McKevitt, of Donegal, is the programme chairperson of a conference on Artificial Intelligence at New Mexico State University. This is the 5th Rocky Mountain Conference on Artificial Intelligence and is entitled "Pragmatics in Artificial Intelligence". It will be held on June 28-30, 1990. For further information contact:

Paul McKevitt,

Program Chairperson, RMCAI-90,

Computing Research Laboratory (CRL),

Dept. 3CRL, Box 30001,

New Mexico State University,

Las Cruces, NM 88003-0001, USA.

E-mail: INTERNET: paul@nmsu.edu

Phone: (+ 1 505)-646-5109

Fax: (+ 1 505)-646-6218.

- From my reporter on the Riviera, "Not to let the Aussies away with it, we had a 'quake here over the Christmas period. It measured 4.3 on the scale and had its epicentre located 15 miles out to sea from Nice. Needless to say, the 'long term` Irish here didn't feel a thing but 'young ones`, like the Carrolls of Mougins/Cannes, felt that the entire house moved".

- Readers in Japan may have run into the Minister for Labour, Bertie Ahern, during the week. He was visiting the managers of companies there who employ Irish Graduates under the sponsorship of FAS in the hope of convincing them to set up in Ireland. He was also scheduled to meet the Japanese Minister for Labour.

- The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gerry Collins, continues with his hectic travel schedule. He attended an American-Ireland Fund dinner in Beverly Hills where he met the former US President, Ronald Reagan. He used the occasion to praise the former president's role in Anglo-Irish relations. Mr Collins later went on to Washington and had talks with President Bush and Secretary for State, Baker. This latter part of the visit appears to have been related to Ireland's presidency of the EC.

- Irish people received more than 10,000 of the 15,000 Donnelly visas issued in the year to the end of September.

> > > > > > > > > GALWAY NEWS < < < < < < < < <

- The Irish Times carried a major article about Mary Bennett (owner of the Treasure Chest) who has been elected the first woman president of the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland.

- The Beach Hotel, Salthill, no longer exists as a hotel. In fact it is hardly recognisable as it has been very effectively renovated as additional office accommodation for the adjacent Celtic Insurance company. This is not actually news but it has only now come to my attention.

- A third case of meningitis has been reported in Co.Galway. A 3-year-old girl from Moycullen is said to be making good progress at University College Hospital.

> > > > > > > > > FROM THE CLARE CHAMPION < < < < < < < < < Reporter: Richard O'Shaughnessy @GAO

- Ever conscious of our obligations to our readers for the standards and variety of information we continually provide, this week sees us visiting the Banner county.

- The first of the two central news items in this weeks Clare Champion is the controversy over the request for the removal of the enforced stop of all transatlantic flights at Shannon. This story has been covered by Liam previously in the main news section so there is no need to re- hash the details, although it is sufficient to say the the emotion rising from this generated four articles including the front page story and the editorial.

The other topical issues are the health cuts and the problems faced by the Ennis Regional Hospital over the Christmas period. Again the editor in chief has got the hop on me, covering the story else where.

- Good news in the job front in the Clare region according to Shannon Development as there has been a net increase in the number of jobs in the locality. Although there was a loss of 531 a net increase of 387 was recorded. This is the the second year in succession that the jobs figure has improved, primarily due this year to the strong international service sector in the Shannon Free Zone where there are 4754 employed in total.

- There were no stories this week of crazed chain saw carriers but I did find a "...vile, vicious, and scurrilous whispering campaign of character assassination against Councillor Martin Lafferty of Lisdoonvarna..". after such a promising opening to an article I hoped for some juicy tit-bits to report, unfortunately nothing materialised. In fact it all seemed to revolve around a misunderstood conversation, transforming itself into a storm in a teacup.

- The Ogonnelloe (I think near Killaloe) Hurling Club had their annual dinner dance last week, almost all those there had their pictures taken and printed.

- The Foley clan of west Clare are having a gathering of the clans in the West County Inn this August. It's being organised by Mrs Una Donnellan (nee Foley) from Kilrush in an attempt to re- unite the family from all over the world. She comes from a family of twenty, and has never met two of her brothers who went to America before she was born. The family has a rather colourful background

- An eye catching picture capped a curious human interest story in the paper about a returned emigrant called Pat Egan who has come back from London to re-open the family bar, Egan's of Liscannor. The bar was originally opened in 1911 by his grandfather, who also returned from abroad (America) to start up the business.

Pat, who is a qualified architect who lectured in a college in London and has often appeared on Channel 4 on documentaries about architecture, decided to opt out of the fast lane and retire to the more sedate, dare I say, backwaters of Liscannor. With his Peruvian wife Charo, whom he met in London whilst she was working as a translator, they have moved lock, stock, and barrel to Ireland. I mean the lock, stock, and barrel literally as the process of moving was more harrowing than expected. It took them over 24 hours to unload his books from the container. In total he brought home over 4,000 books (8 tons ) and 3,500 records all of which had to be located strategically around the house to prevent any upstairs room caving in.

The Champion shows a picture of both of them settled quite well into the roles of publicans, serving pints to the customers.

> > > > > > > > > MUSIC < < < < < < < < < Reporter: Richard O'Shaughnessy @GAO

- Meatloaf in the form of 'The Neverland Express' is coming to town in early February as part of his nation-wide tour. I think I will definitely lie down and avoid this one.

- There'll be a rat in the kitchen, Leisureland even, as UB40 are also appearing there for a concert again in February. I'll be there man.

- Bon Jovi played in the Point Depot Monday and Tuesday (8th and 9th) nights of last week, the former receiving better reviews from the critics and those who attended. Monday's better reviews were due to the fact that originally they were only scheduled to play one night, thus all the serious fans were there en masse. The crowd on the second night comprised those who were interested rather than dedicated.

The concerts finished in a blaze of publicity, unfortunately it was the type of exposure Mr Jon Bon Jovi could have done without. The backdrop for the adverse publicity was created on the first evening when the audience, awaiting the encore sang "Que Sera Sera..we're going to Itttaallleeeeeeeeeee", with which Bon Jovi, not being the greatest soccer fans, were quite adrift. On the Tuesday night, not to be outdone, Bon Jon Bovi (to quote Zig and Zag), had it rehearsed and prompted the crowd to sing along. As part of it he commented that his home team (forgive me if I'm wrong) New York Jets were beaten by San Francisco or L.A. in a crucial football game. He then began to cast aspertions against the victors, especially the gay community of San Francisco. In the heat of the moment the audience (generally) received the comments as the hometown boy slagging the opponents who beat them and nothing beyond that.

Some didn't take it with a pinch of salt, reporting him to the DPP under the recent Incitement of Hatred Act. Jon Bon Jovi now holds the dubious honour of being the first person to be reviewed by the act.

Newspapers the next day, latching onto a good story when they see one, began to brew up a storm. He attempted to quell this publicly by apologising for his comments. The story eventually died of natural causes. It must be said that for those who know Jon Bon Jovi as nothing beyond a rock star, he is not your archetypal fast life style rocker, in fact the complete reverse. This is perhaps the main reason his comments were received with such reaction.

Controversy aside, the music was good, the crowd enjoyed themselves, and the band were 'blasted'.

- The Point Depot (again) was the location for the first Tears for Fears concert in four years, and by all accounts it was a major disappointment. An indicator of the interest shown in the band was the fact that tickets were on sale for half price outside the venue just prior to the band going on stage. Musically it was also a disappointment with people expecting Tears for Fears the pop band, whilst receiving Tears for Fears the thinking man's band, Well so says the music reviewer.

- Sinead O'Connor has a new single out at the moment "Nothing Compares to U", a cover of the Prince song from his (if I'm correct) 'Paisley Park' album. I like it, and I think it will do the business for our not so bald anymore Sinead. There is also an album scheduled in the not too distant future. The now suede head Sinead received a large write up in the latest edition of Hot Press, more on that next week.

- The Fat Lady Sings have released a new single "Drumming Maud Land" which has received great critical acclaim and more importantly airplay. A slow and simple waltz it is addictive after a number of hearings and it will probably open up a wider audience to their work.

For the non-geography gurus out there, Maud land is a vast desolate track of land in Antarctica. who said the Emigrant doesn't try to broaden our readers' minds?

- A Galway band in the news at the moment is The Stunning who played a cracker of a gig in Sir Henry's of Cork and are still one of my favourite Irish bands of the moment. They too have just released a new single 'Brewing up a Storm' which Dave Fanning has given the thumbs up, a major boost for any aspiring band in this country. Their previous single 'Romeo's on Fire' got a very emphatic no-no from Dave The Rave.

The other band in the news is 'The Sawdoctors' (who recently supported The Waterboys in England) who a have a single entitled 'N17' which actually is the number of the road from Galway to Tuam. No prizes for guessing where they are from. Produced by Mike Scott and Anto Thistlethwaite it's a song about emigration. In my opinion it's a bit too light-hearted and raggle taggle gypsy-oh to be taken seriously and perhaps suffers from this.

I like the chorus though, "I wish I was on the N17, Stone walls and the grass is green" yeehaw. All those serving behind the bar in the Quays are wearing their replica N17 road sign badges.

> > > > > > > > > DEATHS < < < < < < < < <

- The retired Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Dr Patrick Lennon (75) died when the car he was driving crashed with another on the Naas dual-carriageway on Friday evening. Two people in the other car escaped with minor injuries. Dr Lennon retired two years ago after holding office for twenty years.

- The actor Eamon Keane (64) of Listowel died suddenly in Tralee General Hospital last Sunday night. He recently had a part in the film of the play "The Field" which was written by his brother, John B.Keane.

- One of the country's best known horse women, Mrs Charmian Hill of Waterford, has died after a short illness. Mrs Hill was 63-years-old when she won her last race in 1982. It was she owned the famous Dawn Run which won 21 races including the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

> > > > > > > > > DIGITAL NEWS < < < < < < < < <

- Gabriel Bellone and Helen McGreal are both back in GAlway after their assignments in the Massachusetts.

> > > > > > > > > BUSINESS NEWS < < < < < < < < <

EXCHANGE RATES:

IRISH POUND Jan 12 Jan 5

Sterling 0.9443 0.9566

US Dollar 1.5746 1.5655

Deutschmark 2.6390 2.6355

French franc 8.9870 9.0044

Dutch guilder 2.9758 2.9763

Belgian franc 55.35 55.39

Italian lira 1972.19 1977.93

Spanish peseta 171.91 170.72

Japanese yen 228.71 225.62

Swiss franc 2.3532 2.4148

Canadian dollar 1.8201 1.8165

Australian dollar 1.9836 1.9922

- Meat exports reached a record of £1.3bn last year. This was an increase of £100m over last year.

- Irish Continental Lines reported an 80% increase in profits for the financial year. Profits rose to £1.49m on turnover of £35.6m. The improvement was attributed to increased passenger numbers and transporting the extra cars which were brought into the country.

- The Minister for Finance, Albert Reynolds, announced plans for the implementation of a new £200m electronic customs clearance system which will eliminate red tape and allow imports and exports to be cleared in a matter of hours. He claimed that Ireland will lead other EC countries in this area.

- Attempts by a Goodman group company to merge with three major co-ops in the North-east were rebuffed. The proposal did, however, prompt two of the co-ops, which have been at loggerheads for years, to announce that they would merge. The two co-ops in question are Killeshandra and Lough Egish.

- November's trade figures were again impressive. Exports, at £1,367m, showed an increase of £123m on the previous month. Imports fell £58m to £1,132m. To save you getting out the calculator, the trade surplus was £239m.

- Workers at Waterford Glass rejected a further management proposal for cutting costs. The board of the Waterford group confirmed on Monday that they were having discussions with a possible partner.

- According to the Irish Times the IDA will be advertising for a successor to Padraic White, its managing director. Mr White was expected to announce his resignation date, probably March or April, this weekend.

> > > > > > > > > WEATHER < < < < < < < < <

It was bright and sunny in the early part of the week with some overnight rain. It then rained in earnest on Wednesday evening and this was accompanied by strong winds. It wasn't too bad after that with little or no rain during daylight hours but there was some very heavy rain at night. For the most part it has been quite mild and on one occasion I noticed the forecasters talking of a 14C temperature.

Tonight it is stormy with some heavy rain.

Latest Temperatures: Night 9C............Day 11C

> > > > > > > > > S P O R T < < < < < < < < <

> > > > > > > > > SOCCER < < < < < < < < <

Premier League:

Athlone 0 Dundalk 1

Bohemians 1 Galway 0

Drogheda 2 Derry 0

Limerick 0 Shamrock Rovers 1

Shelbourne 0 Cork City 1

UCD 1 St Patricks Ath 2

First Division:

Bray 1 Kilkenny 3

Cobh 1 Longford 0

Finn Harps 2 Monaghan 1

Home Farm 3 Newcastlewest 0

Waterford 1 Sligo 1

- After Drogheda's shock defeat of Derry, St.Pats moved to the top. They have 33 points from 21 games and Derry have 31 from 20 games. At the bottom Drogheda are still second from the bottom but are now on thirteen points with Limerick. UCD are at the bottom on 9.

- Kilkenny City lead the first division on goal difference from Home Farm. Both have 27 points. Sligo are next on 26 and Bray Wanderers are fourth with 25. Newcastlewest and Monaghan United are at the bottom with 12 and 11 points respectively.

- A consortium with £2.5m to spend has applied to enter a soccer team, to be known as Dublin City, in the Scottish Second Division. The backers of this idea are Ray Treacy, Jonathan Irwin, Liam Touhy and Colm McCarthy. The general opinion, here and in Scotland, seems to be that they do not have any chance of succeeding.

- Limerick City has appointed Al Finucane as manager to succeed Dave Mahedy who was removed from the position. The club's management committee decided that Mahedy was not giving enough time to the team because he was also training a club hurling team and the county team.

- The planned match with Denmark, in preparation for the World Cup, has been cancelled. The Danish FA were apparently making very high financial demands which were not acceptable to the IFA. Denmark will now play England instead and Finland has offered to play Ireland.

Irish League:

Ballymena 3 Carrick 1

Cliftonville 1 Glenavon 1

Coleraine 4 Ards 0

Crusaders 2 Newry 1

Distillery 0 Bangor 0

Glentoran 2 Portadown 3

Larne 1 Linfield 4

> > > > > > > > > RUGBY < < < < < < < < <

League Games: Greystones 20 Wanderers 13

Lansdowne 13 St.Mary's 9

Old Wesley 6 Blackrock 9

Terenure 18 Monkstown 9

Clontarf 27 Old Belvedere 7

DLSP 6 Dublin Univ 40

Skerries 9 Bective Rangers 31

Sligo 4 Athlone 6

Galwegians 43 Ballina 3

UCG 24 Westport 3

Club Games: UCD 10 Waterpark 24

Bohemians 12 Shannon 26

Garryowen 16 UCC 0

Highfield 12 Old Crescent 3

Young Munster 27 Sunday's Well 21

Ballymena 41 Instonians 17

CIYMS 0 Malone 13

Dungannon 18 Bangor 15

Ards 6 Queen's Univ 10

Armagh 24 Academy 9

Portadown 25 Collegians 12

NIFC 22 City of Derry 9

> > > > > > > > > SPORTS SHORTS < < < < < < < < <

- ATHLETICS: Eamonn Coughlan announced a few weeks ago that he was returning to competitive indoor athletics at the age of 37. During the week, He won his first race, a 3,000 metre event, at a meeting in Canada.

- BASKETBALL: Burgerland Neptune (Cork) had an easy win over Ballina in today's cup-final. Ballina surprised many by reaching the final and had to play without their star, Liam McHale (of GAA fame), who was injured.

> > > > > > > > > SAILING < < < < < < < < <

The Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race Reporter: Tom Foote @ILO

All of the yachts have now safely arrived in Auckland. The 17,500 miles now covered have been among the most savage in the 17 year history of the race. "It's been more a destruction derby than a yacht race" one disillusioned crew member remarked on arrival in Auckland. Remarkably all 23 starters remain in the race. "Union Bank of Finland" arrived last Sunday with her wings severely clipped after being dismasted mid-way across the Tasman Sea. She follows "Charles Jourdan" the French light-weight which struggled home with a 3 metre long gash in her top sides after hitting a whale. The damage was enough to prompt the crew to prepare their life raft, but after strapping the sides of the hull with alloy plates and several rolls of sticky tape, they made it in one piece.

The highlight of this stage has been the welcome in New Zealand. Thousands took a day's sick leave to line every headland and scramble aboard any boat or join the throng in Auckland's main street to welcome Peter Blake and his crew. They were still there 11 hours later to welcome "Fazisi", the Russian underdog which Auckland has taken to its heart. The Russian team lost their sponsor Pepsi Cola last September because the company believed Americans were turning to Coca-Cola in protest at their support for the Ruskies, they have been strapped for cash ever since. The women on "Maiden" received a particularly warm welcome again winning the leg in their class. It was announced later in the week that Tracy Edwards, her skipper, had been awarded the prestigious Yachting Personality of the Year award. This is the first time a woman has won this award in its 35 year history. Previous holders have included such personalities as Eric Hiscock, Sir Francis Chichester, Chay Blyth, Robin Knox-Johnston and our own Harry Cudmore from Cork. The fleet is now preparing for the fourth and perhaps most dangerous leg across the Pacific to Cape Horn and a return to Punta del Este. Leg 4 starts from Auckland on February 4th. The fifth leg is to Fort Lauderdale before the return across the Atlantic to Southampton next May.




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