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The Irish Emigrant - June 11, 1990 | Print |  Email
Tuesday, 17 May 2005
Ray Burke created more waves with his broadcasting bill, an EU beef crisis over BSE was averted, 48 of the country's beaches were awarded Blue Flag status, three people died in what was a violent week in the North, World Cup (Italia '90) fever was mounting and the Irish long jump record, set in 1901, was broken.

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June 11, 1990 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.175

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Editor: Liam Ferrie Circulation: 734

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Last week's summit meeting in Washington was the top story in Monday's Irish Times, but after that the focus was on home stories or stories which directly affected Ireland. Ray Burke continued to be a centre of attention with his new broadcasting

Bill. All the reaction forced him to make some changes but he lived up to his nickname "Rambo" by making them equally severe and then pulling a fast one in the Dail by calling for, and winning, a vote a week earlier than expected.

The other big story was one which captured the attention of the farming community. Threats to our beef exports disappeared after a long session of hard bargaining in Brussels. This, like the Burke story, made the headlines in the Times on two days. That left Wednesday and the top slot was reserved for remarks made by Peter Brooke in which he ruled out any role for the Irish Government in talks on the political future of the North.

The violence in the North continued with an elderly couple dyingin a bomb explosion. Each day's papers carried inquests into the previous day's Leaving Certificate examination. I suppose it is the same the world over as far as the current brouhaha in Italy is concerned. The hype associated with this has been quite phenomenal in the last few months and I probably haven't reflected that fully. I did commission an article on how Ireland's qualification for the finals has affected life here, but obviously the pay wasn't attractive enough.

CHANGE BROADCASTING BILL

It was clear from early in the week that there were going to be changes to the broadcasting legislation which Minister for Communications Ray Burke introduced the previous week. The Taoiseach and the leader of the PDs had a couple of meetings to discuss the subject. On Thursday Mr Burke came before the house for the second reading of the Bill and proposed a number of amendments. Gone was the provision that up to 25% of the licence fees could be handed over to the independent stations, and he was no longer insisting that 2FM change its format from a broadcaster of pop to a community service station. Instead he capped the amount of money which RTE can collect from advertising and reduced its advertising time. These proposals could create even greater financial problems for RTE with one estimate that its revenue could fall by £12m. As far as 2FM is concerned he is applying the rule, to which the independents must adhere, of allocating 20% of broadcasting time to community service type programmes. The station must also maintain separate accounts in future.

Staff at RTE were no more pleased with these proposals than they were with those of a week earlier. This time however Mr Burke had most of the nation's newspapers on his side as editors foresaw a boost in advertising revenues. The PDs were happier, with one of them even claiming that it was his party which insisted on the changes. The opposition parties still did not like it and Fine Gael was talking of a filibuster.

Five days of Dail time had been allocated for the debateHowever, before the first day was over a vote was called and the legislation passed through its second stage. Late in the day a Fianna Fail TD, Ivor Callely, was due to speak on the Bill. He was to be followed by Michael D.Higgins of Labour. Higgins asked Callely how long he planned to talk and was told twenty minutes. He then left the chamber. When it came time for Callely to speak it was noted that there was no opposition member in the chamber so Ray Burke called for a vote and the Bill was passed. This action incensed the opposition and when it was being discussed the following day the Dail was adjourned in uproar.

Alan Dukes has promised not to let the matter rest and we are to expect further heated exchanges next week. However, I think that the average punter is wondering what all the fuss is about and questioning the value of a Dail where TDs are expected to get up and talk to themselves for long periods.

THREAT TO BEEF EXPORTS REMOVED

It's more than a week since the French and Germans banned the importation of British beef to their countries because of Mad Cow disease. The EC immediately called for the bans to be lifted. It was thought for a time that Ireland could get caught in the middle as British farmers wanted their Government to ban the importation of beef from all EC countries in retaliation, and French farmers wanted a ban on Irish beef because there have been 16 cases of the disease in this country. This was described as one of the most serious disputes to occur in the EC. It warranted a special meeting of Agricultural Ministers in Brussels. Two Irishmen, Ray McSharry and Michael O'Kennedy, led the efforts to reach a compromise. Talks went on for more than 24 hours before agreement was reached. In the end, the French, Germans and Italians, who by that time were also involved, agreed to lift their bans but introduced many bureaucratic restrictions to prevent beef from infected herds leaving Britain.

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

- Liam Kenny (20) pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Rev Stephen Hilliard at the Rectory in Rathdrum, Co.Wicklow, in January. He was given an eight-year prison sentence.

- Last Sunday morning raiders broke into the home of Major Victor McCalmont near Thomastown, Co.Kilkenny and took a quantity of gold and silverware valued at about £100,000. The most valuable piece was the Ascot Gold Cup of 1888, worth an estimated £70,000. Two of the three raiders spoke with English accents.

- About 150 people staged a protest outside the Chinese Embassy to mark the first anniversary of Tiananmen Square. Chinese students based here helped with the protest but were afraid to be seen taking part, according to a report in The Irish Times.

- Police in London are questioning six people about recent IRA activity in the city. Three, who were suspected of in the shooting dead of a soldier in Lichfield, were eventually cleared of complicity in that but were detained for further questioning under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

- Gardai have been called in to investigate alleged financial irregularities, involving a "considerable sum", in the running of the Cork Opera House.

- When stopped by Gardai in Dublin a 12-year-old boy was found to be in possession of heroin valued at £50,000. The Gardai later arrested his 24-year-old brother and expressed themselves satisfied that the boy was not aware of what he was carrying.

- Protests against the road development in Castlebar continued. Independent councillor Frank Durcan and two Mercy nuns received slight injuries in a confrontation with a piece of earth-moving machinery. Mr Durcan was detained in hospital overnight.

- Senators John A.Murphy and Shane Ross returned from a visit to South Africa and called for a lifting of sanctions against that country. The Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement was quite upset with them.

- Twelve more of the country's beaches have been awarded the EC Blue Flag, a quality award which indicates, among other things, that they are pollution-free. This brings the total to 48. At the same time the award was withdrawn from Portmarnock,

Skerries and Sutton.

- The Minister for the Marine has banned the killing of sea trout in rivers and lakes in the West for the remainder of the year. There is scientific evidence of a serious fall in stocks. Anglers will still be allowed to catch the fish but must return them to the water.

- An Irish couple, Caroline Arnold and Gerry Murphy, were married in Sicily on Saturday to coincide with the World Cup.

- The first two women priests in the Church of Ireland will be ordained in St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, on June 24.

- The little church of Mary Comforter of the Afflicted at Fahy, near Eyrecourt in Co.Galway has become a place of pilgrimage overnight. Most of the national papers carried a story about two Co.Cork sisters seeing a vision on an interior wall of the Church. A number of other people subsequently confirmed that they could make out an image of the Blessed Virgin, the face of Padre Pio and a pair of hands holding the Eucharist. The local parish priest, the Rev Cathal Stanley, is among those who say that they can see something. Bishop Kirby of Clonfert has asked that the phenomena be viewed with caution. It has been pointed out that the sisters, Judy and Sally Ann Considine, have previously claimed to see visions in Cork and Wexford. About 6,000 people from many parts of the country visited the church in the past week.

- Protesters appear to have failed in their attempts to prevent part of Killarney National Park being turned into a golf course.

- A bomb exploded on the roof of a Territorial Army building in London late on Saturday night, slightly injuring 17 people. The premises were being used by civilians for a birthday party and there were no military personnel among the injured.

- Nicholas Mullen (42), who was described as an Englishman, was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment in London after being found guilty of helping the IRA. He was convicted of supplying two men, who escaped from a "bomb factory" in Clapham in 1988, with cars and accommodation. His co-accused, Eamon Wadley, was found not guilty.

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

- Patrick Boyle (60) was shot dead by masked gunmen who brokeinto his home at Annaghmore, near Portadown, in the early hours of Monday morning. His wife and four sons, two of whom were wounded, were also in the house at the time. It was immediately assumed that this was a sectarian attack by loyalist paramilitaries. The UVF later admitted to the killing but claimed that Mr Boyle was not its intended victim.

- A bomb exploded at a new RUC station which is under construction at Lisnagelvin in Derry. Damage was slight and no one was injured. Work at the site resumed recently after a gap of a number of years because of threats by the IRA.

- James Sefton (65) died and his wife Ellen was seriously injured when a booby-trap bomb exploded under their car in North Belfast on Wednesday morning. She died from her injuries later in the week. Mr Sefton was a retired constable in the RUC Reserve. These killings were deplored by all who commented on them. Although the IRA said they were responsible, Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, was also critical.

- The 150th annual General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church took place during the week. The Moderator urged that the case of the Armagh Four be reopened. A call for for an examination of the beliefs and practices of Freemasonry was accepted although there were some strong dissenting voices.

- I thought that the law was respected more in the North than in the South (in certain matters) and was therefore surprised tolearn that almost half of those killed in road accidents in the North in 1988 were not wearing seat belts.

- There are rumours in Derry that the RUC plan to open a new station in Bishop Street, inside the city walls, and to close the one on the Strand Road. The local Church of Ireland Bishop, Dr James Mahaffey, has come out against the idea, saying that the area was an ecclesiastical site and this would make it a terrorist target

- The Rev. Pat Buckley was in the High Court in Belfast for most of the week suing Dr Cathal Daly, the Bishop of Down and Connor, for unlawful dismissal. Fr Buckley was a curate in Larne from 1977 until 1983 when Bishop Daly informed him that his services were no longer required and that he should go back to the Diocese of Cardiff, where he was ordained. Fr Buckley's views on Catholicism appear to be at variance with those of his Bishop. The case ended but judgement was reserved.

- The hearing into the case of the Maguire family continued in London. On Tuesday it was pointed out that notes made at the research centre which assessed the forensic evidence differed from the evidence given at the original trial. As late as the start of the inquiry it was maintained that only one test was conducted on the swabs. The inquiry was told on Tuesday that a later test for the presence of TNT proved negative. On Friday it was disclosed that, at the time of the trial, the research centre was aware of tests which proved that other common objects could give the same results as nitro-glycerine.

- On Tuesday, Peter Brooke told journalists that there will be no place at the conference table for the Government here when discussions start on new internal political arrangements for the North. The Irish Government has remained quiet on this and it is assumed that it will be discussed today, at a meeting between Mr Brooke and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gerry Collins.

- The UFF attempted to kill Sean Keenan, a leading Sinn Fein activist, early on Thursday. Armed men failed to gain entry to his home in Andersonstown and shot him through a window. He was hit in the back and his condition was described as "stable'. His wife and three children were in the house at the time but were uninjured.

- An Irish Times reporter claims that a growing section of the IRA leadership favours a cease-fire.

- A booby-trap car bomb seriously injured a UDR soldier in Lisnaskea on Sunday evening.

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

- On Monday we were told that the IDA is still having discussions with a number of parties about the purchase of the Nixdorf plant in Bray. Later in the day Nixdorf announced that the plant was to close on July 16 and the remaining 190 jobs were to go.

- Business seems to be booming for Intel in Europe at the moment and the company has announced plans to speed up its development at Leixlip. It is to go ahead with the construction of a wafer fabrication plant which should go into production in early 1993, providing jobs for 500 initially and rising to 1,000 when in full production. The new plant will be built beside the computer systems manufacturing plant which is nearing completion.

- Management at RTE is forecasting job losses as a result of the new broadcasting legislation.

- A dispute at Dublin Bus is disrupting some services. A number of drivers have been suspended for refusing to operate one-man buses. Management and unions agreed to put on a free service in the affected area specifically to ensure that students reach examination centres on time for Leaving and Inter-Cert exams.

- Things are quiet down at Waterford Crystal but talks are continuing.

- The Labour Court is to have separate meetings with the various unions involved in the Irish Press dispute. Meanwhile, publication of all three titles continues as normal.

- Bank officials are threatening industrial action after a Bank of Ireland subsidiary opened a bureau de change in Tralee and announced that it would remain open for fourteen hours each day. Talks between the union and management on extended opening hours for all branches have been suspended until this dispute has been resolved.

- There was a brief strike of journalists at Century Radio. This lasted for four days before being made official. Twenty-four hours later it was settled. There were no news bulletins on the station while the dispute lasted. This also affected some provincial stations which take their news from Century.

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

- The Taoiseach was travelling through Europe meeting EC leaders prior to this month's summit in Dublin. On Tuesday he was in Madrid and on Wednesday, Lisbon. I think he may have been in Paris later in the week.

- According to The Irish Times, John Hume is a contender for the job of UN Secretary General when Perez de Cuellar finishes his term of office. His name was first suggested by the Irish lobby in American politics but has apparently won the approval of a wide cross-section of American political opinion. Obviously his candidature would be supported by Ireland and it is felt that Britain would have little option but to back him also. This wasn't a hard news item but came from the back page of the Saturday supplement.

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

- Westmeath County Council has received a planning application for a major holiday complex on the 168-acre Belvedere Estate near Mullingar. The promoters say that the development will cost £85m, will provide accommodation for 2,000 and have a "weather-independent" sub-tropical holiday dome.

- Parkes Castle, Co.Leitrim, was officially reopened after a £700,000 restoration. The castle stands on the shores of Lough Gill and is built around a 16th century tower house which was a stronghold of the O'Rourkes of Breffni.

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

- John Kerry O'Donnell has retained the lease of Gaelic Stadium in New York despite suggestions that the MTA might give it to one of five other groups which had bid for the property.

> > > > > > > > > EDUCATION < < < < < < < < <

- 112,000 young people started the Leaving and Intermediate Certificate examinations on Wednesday.

- From 1991 a degree in nursing will be available at UCG.

> > > > > > > > > PROPERTY < < < < < < < < <

- McInerney Construction has received planning permission for its proposed £15m leisure complex in Killarney. The development will include 175 upmarket holiday homes on a 30-acre site overlooking the lakes.

- The Smurfit Group has purchased the Lyons Estate from UCD for £2.8m and plans to turn it into a country club. This is the second such venture for the company which acquired Straffan House some years ago. As the two estates are just five miles apart it is possible that they will be run as a single unit.

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

- The new terminal building at Galway Airport still had not opened when I passed through on Thursday. The taxi-driver thought it would open the following day but someone else said that it had been delayed for another week. A spokesperson for

the airport, quoted in the local press, said it would open "in the near future".

- The pub in the Galway Shopping Centre has changed hands and names again. Some of you will remember it as the Rendezvous. Later it became known as Bermo's Rest and for the past few weeks it has been called the Roundabout. Your music correspondent has got himself a job as a barman there for the summer months. If you should visit the place he is the one badly in need of a haircut! Those of you interested in traditional music should call on Wednesday evenings when there is a very lively set dancing session with music from Shaskeen.

- The first Thursday of every month sees the Digital traditional group getting together in O'Malley's on Prospect Hill. Colie Mullin tells me that last Thursday's seisiun had a good balance of tunes and songs. The songs came from Jack Plunkett, Mike Giblin, Aidan Larkin and Mary Lawless. Sean Higgins was shuffling his feet to the reels and jigs, of a south Galway set. The banjo had a strong presence, with Brian O'Beirne gently plucking those strings but producing a nice sound, and Mike Giblin (brother of John,ESSB) who not only played the banjo but also sang. Seamus Sands gave us a blast of some Belfast tunes, while Joan Nestor kept the rhythm with the Spoons, occasionally using Gerry Curran's hollow sounding leg to vary her style and sound. Joan was also celebrating her birthday.

Performers were:

Jack Plunkett......Guitar, Vocals...................ESSB

Brian O'Beirne.....Banjo............................ESSB

Mary Lawless.......Mandolin, Vocals, Dancer.........GUEST

Seamus Sands.......Fiddle, Mandolin.................B/BRIT

Colie Mullin.......Box..............................B/BRIT

Aidan Larkin.......Guitar, Vocals...................GUEST

Mike Giblin........Banjo, Guitar, Vocals............GUEST

Joan Nestor........Spoons...........................B/BRIT

Anne McCarthy......Fiddle, Dancer...................GUEST

Sean Higgins.......Dancer...........................B/BRIT

Mary Prendergast...Dancer...........................GUEST

Ger Cooney.........Dancer...........................GUEST

Claire Sheahy......Dancer...........................GUEST

Angela Plunkett....Dancer...........................GUEST

NEXT SEISIUN ...... Thursday 5th July (Note in your diary).

Willie Clancy week in Milltown Malbay starts Sat 7th July.

Reporter - Colie Mullin @GAO

> > > > > > > > > MUSIC < < < < < < < < <

Reporter: Liam S.Ferrie

- That Petrol Emotion, the band formed from the remnants of The Undertones after Feargal Sharkey's departure, have released their fourth album, `Chemicrazy'. It was produced by Scott Litt who has also worked with REM. The band recently played a semi-surprise gig in The New Inn in Dublin to a packed house and they are now heading off for a seven week US tour.

- Country-pop star Kenny Rogers flew into Dublin in his private jet for two concerts in The Point Depot this weekend. The concerts were very heavily promoted with extensive radio advertising and media coverage.

- The Memories have recorded another version of Billy Joel's `We Didn't Start The Fire'. This time the lyrics are in defence of 2FM against Minister Ray Burke's proposed changes.

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

- I have it on the best authority that Mary Proksell (Mary Morris), will be pursuing a life of luxury following her acceptance of Low End Systems' severance package. Mary, originally from Belclare, started with Digital in Galway and also worked in Ayr, Dublin, Marlborough and Boxboro, Mass. Her last day at Digital was June 8, 1990.

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

EXCHANGE RATES:

IRISH POUND Jun 8 Jun 1

Sterling 0.9404 0.9427

US Dollar 1.5815 1.5912

Deutschmark 2.6806 2.6786

French franc 9.0272 9.0420

Dutch guilder 3.0158 3.0158

Belgian franc 55.12 55.17

Italian lira 1971.50 1972.45

Spanish peseta 166.06 165.96

Japanese yen 235.79 240.35

Swiss franc 2.2892 2.2659

Canadian dollar 1.8559 1.8682

Australian dollar 2.0494 2.0668

- Killeshandra and Lough Egish Co-ops announced plans to merge. If approved the new company will be known as Lakelands Dairies and have an annual turnover of £130m.

- Bula Resources reported pre-tax profits of £501,000 for the year to the end of December last.

- Telecom Eireann's profits were up 49% at £79m on a turnover of £704m. The company's only shareholder, the State, is to get a dividend of £10m.

- The Minister for Industry and Commerce, Des O'Malley, has finally given approval to Telecom's plan to buy 60% of Cablelink from RTE.

- GPA returned another set of record profits. For the year to the end of March the company reported profits of £151m, up from £95m the previous year.

- Pre-tax profits at United Drug passed the £1m mark for the six months to the end of March. At £1,150,000 they were up 20% on the same period last year.

- Power Corporation has sold its 40% stake in Two Rodeo Drive, Los Angeles.

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

As Monday was a bank holiday the pessimists were not disappointed when it rained. Those of us who were up before 9:00am did see the sun and were briefly fooled into expecting a good day. Of course as soon as we returned to work on Tuesday the sun came back. After that it wasn't a bad week. We had long sunny spells interrupted by showers. These were most frequent on Thursday when there was also a strong wind. The weekend was dry but frequently overcast.

Latest Temperatures: Day 16C............Night 8C

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

> > > > > > > > > G.A.A. < < < < < < < < <

Munster Senior Hurling Championship:

Limerick 1-16 Tipperary 2-20

Leinster Senior Football Championship:

Meath 3-15 Longford 0-12

Laois 3-15 Offaly 3-5

Ulster Senior Football Championship:

Down 3-11 Monaghan 1-12

Connacht Senior Football Championship:

Galway 6-17 Sligo 0-4

- Limerick led by three points at half-time despite having Mike Barron sent off mid-way through the first half. It was late in the game before Tipp's dominance showed. - Meath had the expected comfortable win with the Longford forwards failing to take the chances they did get. - Laois fully deserved their victory over Offaly and, but for poor, finishing the margin would have been greater. - Up North Monaghan led for much of the game and it took three Down goals in the second half to see them through. - Galway issued a warning to Mayo and Roscommon with a fine win over admittedly poor opposition.

> > > > > > > > > WORLD CUP SOCCER NEWS < < < < < < < < <

- Ronnie Whelan failed to finish a practice session on Friday and has been ruled out of the game against England. There is also some concern over the fitness of Chris Morris.

- I hope to carry short reports of each of the games but have no plans for any special editions as I assume that the vast majority of those interested will get adequate coverage on their local media. If by any chance you are in a part of the world which is ignoring the World Cup, and wish to be kept up to date, send me a mail message.

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

- GOLF: A 65 and 67 in the last two rounds of the Scandinavian Open gave Ronan Rafferty a 15 under par 273 for the tournament. However he did not bargain for Craig Stadler returning a 61 in the final round. This left him on 20 under and the clear winner. Rafferty finished in third place and collected £25,000.

- SOCCER: Cork-born defender Dennis Irwin has moved from Oldham to Manchester United for a fee of Stg£625,000.

- ATHLETICS: Carlos O'Connell jumped 7.63 metres at an athletics meeting in Maryland last weekend. This bettered, by two centimetres, the previous Irish long jump record which was set by one Peter O'Connell back in 1901. O'Connell's jump was also a world record which survived for twenty years.

- HORSE-RACING: Pat Eddery followed his success in France last week by winning the English Derby on Quest for Fame.

At the end of this issue racing fans can read a detailed report, from Paddy Waldron of Philadelphia, on an Irish success in Long Island.

- SAILING: A SEPTUAGENARIAN HOOKER - No my American friends, English is not the same as American English! I am referring to the 79-year-old Galway hooker owned by Paddy Barry, which has appeared on an Irish postage stamp. It once carried Patrick Pearse to the Aran Islands and, in 1986, cruised across the Atlantic with a cargo of turf for New York. The hooker joined the fleet of tall ships which sailed past the Statue of Liberty for the bicentennial celebrations, with three of the crew dancing a reel on the foredeck.

Paddy, a Dublin based civil engineer, is off again, this time sailing the Saint Patrick to the Arctic. Their voyage will take them to the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Jan Mayen and Spitzbergen, right up to the polar ice fields and down into Murmansk in the USSR. The 40-foot Casey-built larch and oak hooker will sail past Franz Joseph land before heading for Murmansk where she will meet up with the tall ships which will, on about 25th July, race for the Norwegian port of Tromso. By August they will be in the Lerwick Islands before cruising home via Lewis, Harris, Tobermory and Iona. Their departure from Dublin is set for June 1st and by the time they return 6,000 miles will have passed beneath their keel.

SPIRIT OF GALWAY - It was announced this week that a group of Galway Bay Sailing Club members are to charter the ex-Whitbread maxi "With Integrity" and enter her in the Round Ireland race which starts in Wexford on 23rd June. The yacht will be renamed "Spirit of Galway" for the duration of the trip and will be competing against the other ex-Whitbread maxis NCB Ireland, Rothmans and Merit. The skipper will be local sailor John Killeen and amongst the crew will be the well known figure of government Minister Bobby Molloy.

Reporter - Tom Foote @ILO

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S P O R T S S U P P L E M E N T

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HORSE RACING - IRISH SUCCESS IN NEW YORK

Reporter: Paddy Waldron, Philadelphia

Belmont Park race course in Elmont, Long Island, New York was the scene of an Irish sporting triumph on Saturday, June 9 at least as improbable and praiseworthy as an Irish victory in the forthcoming World Cup.

Last October, Dermot Weld sent a 2yo called Go And Go to Laurel in Maryland for a Grade 2 turf race. Stable jockey Mick Kinane stayed home to ride at the Curragh, and the horse started at 22/1 under leading American rider, Craig Perrett. Main reason for the long price was the fact that last minute rain had caused the race to be transferred to the dirt track. That didn't stop the Irish raider winning narrowly, and Dermot Weld immediately began planning to bring him back for the mile and a half Belmont Stakes this weekend, the last leg of the American Triple Crown.

Before Laurel, Go And Go had run four times. He was unplaced at the Curragh on Derby Day, won at Galway's festival meeting, where the standard of horse on view rarely matches the huge sums bet, and won again in a listed race at the Curragh in August. He was a big disappointment in the GPA sponsored group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh, so his Laurel win was a surprise to many.

His next outing was in the Breeder's Cup at Gulfstream Park in Florida in November. Mick Kinane travelled over to take the ride, and the American pundits wrote off his chances on account of the jockey's lack of experience on dirt tracks. Go And Go led to the straight, but faded to finish 8th. Nevertheless, he was officially rated the leading Irish-trained 2yo colt of 1989.

He returned to Ireland for the winter, and landed odds of 2/7 in his first 3yo start at the Phoenix Park on May 2. Fourth place behind 3 English raiders in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown 10 days later made the Belmont plan appear decidedly optimistic, and I for one never considered making the 3 hour rail trip to Belmont Park and settled for the TV coverage.

This time, the media gave Mick Kinane more respect, as he had won more mile and a half races than all 8 of his rivals put together; races in the US being much shorter on average than in Europe. In the last twelve months, riding for his main retainer Dermot Weld and three different English trainers, Mick has won the Irish Oaks, Phoenix Champion Stakes, Cartier Million, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and English 2,000 Guineas, as well as taking a sixth consecutive Irish jockeys' championship, a tally even the Lester Piggotts and Bill Shoemakers of this world would have been proud of. Success has not gone to Mick's head, nor earned him the adulation he deserves, and he can still drop into Myo's in Castleknock for after the Phoenix Park races, or drive himself home from Dublin Airport on a Monday morning after another overseas raid - I have met him in both places!

Furthermore, Carl Nafziger, the former rodeo rider who trains Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled (ridden by the afore-mentioned Craig Perrett), was interviewed just before the start of the Belmont and named Go And Go the main danger. Summer Squall, who finished second in the first leg of the Triple Crown to Unbridled and won the second leg, the Preakness, missed the Belmont, since New York doesn't allow horses to run on medication such as Lasix, which prevents bleeding, but is also claimed to enhance the performance of non-bleeders. Unbridled was taking his chance without Lasix.

Go And Go was drawn one from the rail, jumped out smartly, and was settled on the rail in 5th place by Kinane, who waited patiently until he saw Unbridled range up on his outside coming out of the back stretch. Kinane made his move at the same time, and was pleasantly surprised to see Unbridled struggling while Go And Go was full of running. He switched out to pass the tiring leaders Thirty Six Red and Baron De Vaux on the final turn, and drew steadily clear down the straight, finishing eight and a quarter lengths in front of his closest pursuer.

The starting odds at Belmont were only 15/2, suggesting that some faithful Irish punters may have made the trip. The race was simulcast to numerous tracks around the US, where the odds were much higher, up to 14/1 and better. As far as I can recall, this was the first occasion on which an American Triple Crown Race was won by a horse trained in Europe. An Irish-bred called Cavan had won the Belmont 32 years ago.

Go And Go was bred and is owned by the Moyglare Stud, based near Maynooth, and run by leading vet Stan Cosgrove and ex-jockey Jimmy Feane for Swiss industrialist Walter Haefner. Cosgrove accepted the large piece of silverware which goes to the winning owner, and asked: `If we come back and win the next two, do we get to keep this?' Then Mick Kinane was presented with the keys to a Chrysler car (since the Triple Crown is sponsored by Chrysler). He could not answer the interviewer's question: 'How are you going to get it home?' `I don't know, and I hope they can get me a right hand drive version!'

Weld is undecided whether to go next for the Irish Derby at the Curragh on July 1 or to come back for the Travers Stakes at Saratoga in upstate New York in August. Go And Go is a son of Be My Guest, a record priced yearling who was overshadowed by his stable companion The Minstrel during Vincent O'Brien's phenomenally successful 1977 season. Be My Guest now stands at the O'Brien syndicate's Coolmore Stud in Co. Tipperary. He had never lived up to the promise of his first crop of foals, which included two classic winners, Assert and On The House. Coincidentally, Summer Squall is a son of Storm Bird, also a product of the O'Brien stable, and champion 2yo in Ireland in 1980, who is based at the Lexington, Kentucky, end of the Coolmore operation.

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* This newsletter has been prepared primarily from *

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* as representing the views of my employer or those *

* of other companies within the group. *

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