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The Irish Emigrant - February 25, 1991 | Print |  Email
Sunday, 26 February 2006
The moment of truth was looming for the Birmingham Six; IRA bombs at London rail stations killed one man and injured 40 commuters; the Government announced plans to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1916 Rising; questions were raised about the future of the Digital plant in Clonmel, and the 230-year-old Woodstock House, on a 136-acre walled estate in Co. Wicklow, was on offer for £1.25m - it is now the Druid's Glen clubhouse.

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February 25, 1991 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.212

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Editor: Liam Ferrie Circulation: 895

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The Gulf War, or rather attempts to bring about a peaceful settlement, took top place in the Irish Times every day this week. Even the story about the IRA bomb, which killed a man in London, failed to dislodge it from the top of the page. That story and accompanying photographs did get a full page of coverage inside.

The AIB Group was in the news and I am sure did not relish the publicity. It decided to change its method of calculating interest for its Visa customers and opened the door for a very effective advertising campaign by one of its competitors. The 1990 trade figures were released during the week. Once upon a time they would have been greeted with delight but, not being as good as the previous year, they generated a little concern.

Budget increases in VAT have precipitated price increases in ESB and Telecom Eireann charges. It was the Government which took the brunt of the criticism on this one. They were also criticised two weeks ago when An Post announced its cutbacks. This week the Minister for Communications ordered a hold on the plan to close 550 sub-post offices and found he was still being criticised, for not standing up to political pressure.

This was the week when the President announced the last seven members of the Council of State. Most thought her selection imaginative but FG spokesman, Jim O'Keeffe, complained bitterly that his leader had not been appointed.

IRA BOMBS IN LONDON

Once again I suspect that news of the IRA's activities in London need not be recorded here, as it was probably a news item in most parts of the world. Just in case you are completely isolated, it was at 4:20am on Monday morning that a bomb exploded in Paddington Station. As the place was virtually deserted at the time there were no injuries. At 7:45pm another bomb exploded on the main concourse of Victoria Station. This was at the height of the morning rush hour and one man was killed and about 40 other people injured.

A news conference in the afternoon heard a police spokesman say that at 7:00am a phone call was received at a nearby British Rail office. The caller was a man with an Irish accent who claimed to represent the IRA. He said that bombs were due to detonate in all London's main line stations in 45 minutes. The spokesman considered the warning too vague and too short for any real preventive action to be taken. He also said that a number of hoax calls had been received following the Paddington explosion.

Condemnation of the attack was widespread. Cardinal Hume of Westminster, who lives near the station, was interviewed at the scene and expressed revulsion. He pointed out that one of those injured was a young Irish girl who had arrived the previous day for a holiday. Politicians on this side of the Irish Sea were particularly vocal, making it clear that the attack was abhorred as much here as in Britain.

In the evening the IRA accepted responsibility for the bombings but criticised the police for not taking the warning seriously. This was the first IRA attack on a civilian target since 1983 and is seen as part of the organisation's effort to vary its tactics. I did not see any comment on the fact that the attack took place on the same day as the Birmingham Six case was before the courts. The attack on 10 Downing Street, 11 days earlier, also coincided with a similar hearing.

CLOSER TO CONCLUSION?

Supporters of the Birmingham Six were quietly satisfied with the outcome of the preliminary hearing which took place on Monday. Although the opening of the full appeal has been postponed for a week until March 4, they were told of the possibility of another preliminary hearing next Monday which could bring the whole matter to a head.

It transpired that the police officer who led the inquiries into the original case was interviewed for ten hours last week. Detective Superintendent George Reade is now in retirement and living in Australia. With the decision not to rely on forensic evidence the case now hinges on the confessions alleged to have been made by some of the Six. Mr Reade is a crucial witness in supporting these allegations. Counsel for the Six has repeatedly asked the Crown for confirmation that Mr Reade and his colleagues are "witnesses of truth and integrity". Such a statement has not been forthcoming. The extra week was requested by counsel for the Director of Public Prosecution to allow the Crown time to evaluate the transcript of the interview with Mr Reade.

The transcript was given to lawyers for the Six but before they had time to review it there seemed to be an expectation that it would cause problems for the Prosecution. There were reports that some or all of the Six had been moved to prisons in London but there was no official confirmation of this.

On Friday the DPP announced that he had indeed asked for a further preliminary hearing today. A spokeswoman would not confirm that this meant the end of the case. Most observers agree that the Six will either be released today or, if the appeal goes ahead next week, it will be so that the judges can release them formally, rather than have the DPP make the decision for them.

A GOOD YEAR FOR TRADE? WELL THAT DEPENDS

Ireland's trade surplus for 1990 stood at £1.86bn. Exports for the year were £14.336bn while imports amounted to £12.472bn. Unfortunately the surplus was £450m less than the previous year. Exports were down by 1.8 and imports up 1.5%. I suppose, looked at in isolation, it was a good year but fell well short of the previous year's performance. Unfortunately the fall off was in the second half of the year so that it may be an indication of more problems to come. December did, however, produce a strong performance so we will have to wait to see if that was a once off occurrence.

COUNCIL OF STATE

President Robinson presented her seven nominees to the Council of State with their seals of office on Wednesday. She managed to accommodate quite a number of threads of society although limited to seven. Best known are Dr T.K. Whitaker (Chancellor of the NUI, former senator, and former secretary to the Department of Finance among others things) and Monica Barnes (Fine Gael TD and prominent women's activist). The other five are Professor Emer Colleran (of UCG and An Taisce), Quintin Oliver (from Belfast and director of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action), Patricia O'Donovan (a barrister and senior trade union official), Rosemarie Smith (a farmer and IFA official) and Donal Toolan (a 24-year-old journalist who is confined to a wheelchair).

As I said earlier there was little complaint about this selection but Jim O'Keeffe thought it seriously amiss that, for the first time ever, the leader of the main opposition party was not included. Once his party had time to think about it, a different attitude was displayed and John Bruton himself issued a relatively positive statement about the composition of the Council.

Those who think that four woman members of the Council of State and a woman President is tipping the balance too much in the other direction need to understand that there are a large number of ex-officio members and all are men. They include the Taoiseach, former Taoisigh, certain members and retired members of the judiciary, the Cathaoirleach of the Senate and the Ceann Comhairle of the Dail.

You might be wondering what the Council of State does. The answer is, not very much. It is there to advise the President but in the past some Councils have not met at all during the seven year term of the presidency. There are indications that President Robinson will change this.

IRELAND AND THE GULF WAR

- The two anti-war groups here have severed all connections with each other. In the Irish tradition once described by Brendan Behan (the first item on the agenda, the split), a recent meeting ended with the Gulf Peace Committee cutting its ties with the No to War in the Gulf Campaign. The latter was criticised for being interested only in protesting against the Allies.

- An Iraqi student who is studying at Queen's was released after spending a month in a British jail. He was one of a number of Iraqis taken into custody by the British at the start of the Gulf War.

- The Government is thought to have responded favourably to a UN enquiry about the availability of Irish observers in Kuwait should peace break out.

BALLYCOTTON INQUIRY

On Monday the chairman of the South Western Fisheries Board gave evidence and accepted that he was responsible for the safety of the officers who died. He told the inquiry that he had been seconded to his job and had no experience of the sea. He talked of inadequate resources which led to a lack of training.

A number of experts told the inquiry on Wednesday that the boat was unsuitable for hauling in nets and unsuitable for the conditions. Another expert later disagreed with this assessment. By Friday all the evidence had been heard and today will see the start of the summing up by counsel for the various parties. It will probably be a few weeks before the tribunal issues its findings.

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

- There was a major fire at an industrial estate in Dublin's dockland, near the Point Theatre, on Monday night. A number of factory units were destroyed and damage was estimated to run into millions of pounds.

- Christopher Cooney of Shannon was charged with the murder of Robert Lynch in Ennis last Saturday night.

- Repeated horror stories coming out of Dublin indicate that there is a small "no go" enclave near the city centre. Groups of youths are said to attack cars, almost at will. The latest such report is typical. A couple who were travelling to a funeral in Limerick arrived at the North Wall, on the car ferry from Holyhead. After leaving the docks they took a wrong turn into Sheriff Street where they were attacked by a group of youths who used an iron bar to force open the boot. Property to the value of £800 was taken as well as £300 in cash. These attacks take place in broad daylight.

- One of the problems facing people receiving medical treatment is that the VHI cover does not always equate with the bills submitted by consultants. They often end up paying substantial additional bills. The VHI board tried to put an end to this by asking consultants to agree to a fixed set of fees, 20% higher than that currently covered. This was to be at no extra cost to VHI members. The Irish Hospital Consultants Association refused the offer, but this decision was, of course, taken purely "in the interests of patients". Some consultants had already independently agreed to the new arrangement but presumably they are not concerned about their patients!

- With the 10% VAT rate rising to 12.5% as a result of the budget, the ESB is to pass the cost on to consumers. Opposition politicians and others were severely critical of this increase which will come into effect in April. Most of the criticism was aimed at the Government as the ESB had promised that there would be no increase in electricity charges until 1992 at the earliest. There were widely differing views on the effect of the increase depending on which political party was represented.

- A day later Telecom Eireann and An Bord Gais announced that they would be bringing in similar increases. These did not receive quite the same level of criticism as that provoked by the ESB. On Friday Telecom confirmed that it was going to end the practice of charging a flat rate for local calls, irrespective of duration. Between the hours of 8:00 and 18:00 each five minutes will cost one charge unit. For the remainder of the day a charge unit will buy a fifteen minute call. On the plus side the charge unit will come down from 11.17p to 10p. I am not sure when this will come into effect and I believe it needs Government approval.

- If you are squeamish jump on to the next item. About ten days ago a Dublin man was explaining to a court how he had eaten the head of a mouse which was in a meat pie purchased from a Quinnsworth supermarket. The case was settled for £35,000. It is now clear that the Department of Social Welfare was watching the case with interest. During the original hearing, documents were produced in court showing the man's earnings prior to the incident. Now the department has obtained an injunction against the insurance company involved. It has been ordered not to pay out more than half the sum. The man was apparently claiming unemployment benefit while he was working and the Social Welfare Department hopes to recover from the insurance company, £16,996 which he fraudulently claimed. There is another rider to this case. Dennys (of sausage fame) were named in the case and the company has published notices in the press saying that the product involved was not one of theirs but had been manufactured in England by a named English company.

- There has been a stay of execution for the 554 sub-post offices which An Post planned to close as part of a major cost cutting exercise. The Minister for Communications, Seamus Brennan, ordered An Post to take no action on this front until the matter was reviewed by the National Economic and Social Council. He has also held up plans for the provision of 200,000 roadside letter boxes which were to end the practise of postmen travelling up every boreen in the country to deliver mail. Mr Brennan says that his decision was based on a concern for the impact these decisions would have on rural communities. His opponents say he caved in to pressure from his colleagues who believe that such action would seriously hurt the party in the local elections later this year.

- The Government announced a series of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1916 Rising. On Easter Sunday the President and the Taoiseach will take part in a military ceremony at the GPO. Art exhibitions and other activities will take place at Kilmainham Jail and the National Museum. The Department of Education will promote the commemoration of the Rising in schools and An Post, in addition to issuing a stamp, will mount a photographic and video exhibition, presumably in the GPO.

- Ten teenagers from the Ballyfermot area of Dublin failed to appear in court as witnesses in a trial in which another Ballyfermot youth is accused of murder. Their arrest was ordered by the judge. When two of them gave evidence the following day they insisted that statements which they previously made to Gardai were untrue.

- Last week I reported that a 35-year-old Dubliner was convicted of the rape and indecent assault of a prostitute. On Friday he was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment.

- Cork City is losing its only independent radio station as 96FM is being taken over and amalgamated with County Sound which operates out of Mallow.

- The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland came in for some ridicule when it agreed with complainants about the suitability of a poster advertising package holidays. The Budget Travel poster depicted a rear view of a bikini-clad female with the slogan "Get your seat to the sun". To comply with the ruling Budget has pasted the words, "Don't get left behind", over the offending posterior.

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

- The Bishop of Derry, Dr Edward Daly, condemned as "utterly intolerable harassment" the saturation searches of Catholic homes by the British Army in the Castlederg area. The RUC replied, claiming that the searches were justified because of the number of violent incidents in the area and that religion had no bearing on which houses were searched.

- In what appears to be another random sectarian attack in Belfast a Catholic man was shot and seriously wounded on Monday night. Two gunmen pushed their way into a house off the Falls Road and shot the man four times. The victim was visiting his mother's home when attacked and was accompanied by his two children, aged one and two.

- The RUC refused permission for the Irish Cup replay, between Donegall Celtic and Ards, to be played at the Celtic Park in the Andersonstown area of Belfast. The IFA will meet on Monday to decide where and when the match should be played but the Celtic club may yet withdraw from the competition. The Belfast side is to apply for membership of the League of Ireland next season. The club ran into further misfortune when the RUC successfully objected to its social club bar licence being renewed, on the grounds that proper accounts were not maintained, despite a turnover of Stg£500,000. The bar will, however, remain open pending an appeal.

- A breakaway group from the Church of Ireland held its first ordinations yesterday, in Craigavon. The group was formed last year in protest at the decision to ordain women, and now has three congregations in the North.

- Sean Adams, the brother of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, was jailed for 14 years for his part in a gun attack on an RUC station in Belfast in October 1989.

- The trial of former Sinn Fein publicity officer, Danny Morrison, has started in Belfast. He is one of a number of people charged with conspiracy to murder a police informer. The evidence which received most publicity was that of people who said that Morrison arrived in their house (next door to where the informer was being held) without invitation. They claimed that he asked them to tell anyone who came to the door that he had been there for some time.

- A woman was raped at gun-point in front of her husband in a house in Lisburn last weekend. Another married couple was later arrested and charged in connection with the crime. There have since been allegations that the rape was carried out in retaliation for the part played by the victim's husband in the assault of a leading member of the UDA. When the woman applied for bail the court heard an allegation that she had lured between 20 and 30 men to her home and that photographs taken by her husband were used to blackmail the men.

- John Major made his first visit to the North since becoming British Prime Minister. He had to cut his stay there on Friday to just four hours because of developments relating to the Middle East.

- Nothing much happened this week in relation to Peter Brooke's attempts to reach some agreement on talks about the future of the North. The Irish Times said that it was surprising that he had not yet put new proposals from Dublin to the Unionist leaders. John Major said that "common sense" should ensure that Mr Brooke's efforts succeeded, but that is bringing a totally new element into play!

- The IRA attacked a British Army observation post, with mortars and machine-gun fire, near Silverbridge in South Armagh on Saturday evening. A fifteen-minute gun battle ensued but there were no reports of injuries.

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

- Have you a degree in the natural sciences, engineering or medicine? Have you three years postgraduate related professional experience? Failing the latter, have you piloting experience? Would you like to earn £60,000 per year tax free for four years? Are you aged between 27 and 37? Would you like to become Ireland's first astronaut? Eolas is looking for candidates from which it will draw up a short list of five to go forward for final selection by the European Space Agency. Woman are of course eligible.

- A report in Saturday's Irish Times raised concerns about the future of Digital's Clonmel plant. The IDA later issued a statement saying that it would be consulted by the company's US management before any final decision is made on the plant's future.

- Butler Engineering of Portarlington is adding 110 jobs to its existing workforce of 140.

- Emerald City Productions, a US-owned animation studio in Dun Laoghaire, has closed and its 43 staff are out of work. A further 20 freelance staff are also affected. Once again, war and recession were blamed. The company sold its output solely in the US and its customers are no longer buying. Two other animation studios in Dublin, which between them employ 400, are not experiencing the same problems.

- I don't remember writing about the closure of Zenith Electronics in Kells, Co.Meath. An Irish Times' article about the recent spate of lay-offs indicates that the plant is now closed with 200 jobs lost. Other redundancies mentioned in the report, and which did not previously catch my attention, were 130 at Prime Computers and 360 at JTC, an electronics company in Newtownabbey.

- The Federation of Irish Employers and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions have each agreed to comply with the terms of the Programme for Economic and Social Progress.

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

- The Desmond Ellis extradition case was debated in the Dail. Fine Gael urged the Minister for Justice to bring into law the provision that additional or alternative charges cannot be brought against people who have been extradited. The Minister, Ray Burke, said that to do so would end extradition as the British would have to enact similar legislation. He wishes to leave it as a gentleman's agreement.

- St Patrick's Day parades around the world will have to try to and survive without the presence of Government Ministers or Ministers of State. The Taoiseach told the Dail that he and most members of the Government will stay at home this year.

- Could it be that Gerry Collins has already used up the entire Government's travel budget for the year? I told you two weeks ago that the Minister for Foreign Affairs was in Egypt for discussions with President Mubarak. Last week a trip to Germany seemed too modest to record. This week he is on an official visit to India.

- Jackie Fahey, the Fianna Fail TD for Waterford, announced that he will not contest the next election. He has been a Dail deputy for the last 26 years.

- President Robinson became the 39th person to be granted the freedom of Cork.

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

- The St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee in Worcester, Mass was in touch with me. I have been asked to bring to the attention of New England readers a fund raising concert which it is organising. The Wolfe Tones will be appearing in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Hall in Worcester on Sunday, March 17, 1991. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door. They may also be obtained by calling 865-9333, or at the Irish Festival on Saturday the 16th. Or, drop me a mail message, and I can arrange for a pick-up of the tickets. The Wolfe Tones are scheduled to start at 6:00pm, and the doors open at 5:00pm. The hall is right behind the Church, off Shrewsbury Street. There will be a full bar at the event.

- In Hong Kong one Irishman died and another is missing after a pleasure junk on which they were travelling was in collision with a ferry. Dubliner Edward Donoghue (31) had both legs amputated but died later in the week. He was a freelance journalist with the South China Post. Some days after last weekend's accident, a search was still taking place for John McDowell (34) of Belfast. He had been working in Hong Kong for a number of years.

- There were moving scenes at Galway airport on Wednesday when 50-year-old Teresa Donnellan visited Galway for the first time in her life. Teresa is a cancer victim and had expressed a wish to visit Galway and Tuam, her parents home town. Her friends in the Bristol Irish Society arranged for an air ambulance to bring her here. She was accompanied by her two sons.

- The trial of four Irish people, accused of murdering two Australian tourists, opened in Holland on Monday. The killings took place last May and the IRA later said that it mistook the Australians for British service men. The four accused are Donna Maguire (24) and Paul Hughes (26) of Newry, Sean Hick (30) of Co.Dublin and Gerard Harte (26) of Lurgan.

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

- Aeroflot has been granted a licence to carry passengers and cargo between Washington DC and Shannon. The airline's representative at Shannon hoped that the Minister for Transport would allow fares to be between £50 and £70 lower than those offered by Aer Lingus and Delta. The service will start in April.

- The Gulf War and world recession are blamed for slackness in business at Knock Airport. There are just two scheduled flights each day and 20 members of the 30 strong work force are now working every second week.

- Club Med is opening its first Irish holiday complex in the refurbished Waterville Lake Hotel in Kerry on April 20. About 50 jobs will be available for the local community with other staff being recruited in Dublin and from Club Med facilities abroad.

- Tuesday's Irish Times included an eight-page colour supplement commemorating the 300th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Limerick. All you Limerick exiles are expected to be home again between July 6 and 14 for the Wild Geese Festival. If you cannot make that, then try the Whit Weekend Music Festival (June 1-3), the Treaty 300 Commemoration Weekend (October 3-6) or the American Football Weekend (Fordham v Holy Cross - November 16-17).

- Galway has a new tourist attraction in a 32-seat horse drawn omnibus which was built in England in 1860. My concerns that it is asking a bit much of two horses to pull 32 people were confirmed on Saturday. After stopping in Eglinton Street the horses had the greatest difficulty in moving off as horse shoes do not provide any grip on tarmacadam.

> > > > > CONSERVATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT < < < < <

- An Bord Pleanala has reversed Tipperary Co.Council's decision to grant planning permission for a theme park at the foot of the Rock of Cashel. The successful appeal against the development was brought by An Taisce and the Arts Council although the latter had a change of heart during the hearing. In delivering the ruling the board said that the structure would "be visually incompatible with the medieval structures on the Rock". Locals, interviewed on television, expressed disappointment at the decision although there would be no problem with development if it was to be placed just a little further away from the Rock.

- 1991 has been designated the Year of the Corncrake by the Irish Wildbird Conservancy. The corncrake used to be very common in rural Ireland but I cannot recall hearing it since coming to live in Galway 17 years ago. Changed farming practices are blamed for the bird's decline. The IWC launched an appeal for £25,000 with which to purchase land in the Shannon Callows where the bird can can breed safely.

- While expanding their course, Loughrea Golf Club came across what is one of the largest and best preserved souterrains in the country. It is thought to be about 1,000 years old and would have been used to store food or possibly as a dwelling. It will now provide shelter for golfers if the weather becomes too inclement while driving up the tenth fairway!

- Farmers in two areas, designated as environmentally sensitive, will receive grants for farming in an environmentally friendly way. The Minister for Agriculture announced the EC backed scheme on Friday and the two localities to which it will apply are in the Slieve Bloom mountains and around Slyne Head in Co.Galway.

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

- In her absence, Sinead O'Connor won the Grammy Award for the Best Alternative Performance.

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

- A 230-year-old country house, sitting in a 136-acre walled estate, is on offer at £1.25m. The house's main claim to fame is that it is shown in the title sequence of Glenroe. Woodstock House, near Enniskerry, Co.Wicklow, has 17,000 square feet of floor space, and is described as "one of the finest country houses within 25 miles of Dublin".

- If, on the other hand, you would like to move upmarket you could put an offer of around £3m on the Lyons Estate at Newcastle, Co.Dublin. The successful bidder will become the proud owner of a large Georgian mansion built around 1800, 600 acres of land, a 25-acre lake, a modern house, three gate lodges and a number of derelict cottages and Georgian canal buildings. In an earlier edition I reported that this property had been purchased by Smurfit interests with the intention of turning it into a hotel and country club. These plans have been dropped. It was intended to recoup some of the investment by building about 100 luxury homes on the land but planning permission is unlikely to be forthcoming.

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

- Dr Thekla Beere has died at the age of 89. Throughout her life, Dr Beere had a string of achievements and has been hailed as a role model for career women. She was the first and only woman to become the secretary of a Government department, was a founder member of An Oige, represented Ireland at international conferences, was first chairperson of the Council for the Status of Women and was a director of The Irish Times. Thekla Beere was the daughter of the Rev. Francis Beere of Kells, Co.Kildare and studied Law and Political Science at Trinity.

- Sir George Clark, president of the Ulster Unionist Council, former Senator in the North and former Grand Master of the Orange Lodge, has died at the age of 77.

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

EXCHANGE RATES:

IRISH POUND Feb 22 Feb 15

Sterling 0.9111 0.9147

US Dollar 1.7779 1.8033

Deutschmark 2.6606 2.6620

French franc 9.0525 9.0625

Dutch guilder 2.9988 2.9965

Belgian franc 54.71 54.79

Italian lira 1991.25 1999.86

Spanish Peseta 166.00 166.44

Japanese Yen 234.19 234.70

Swiss franc 2.2890 2.2830

Canadian dollar 2.0455 2.0814

Australian dollar 2.2669 2.2864

- The AIB group received much adverse publicity when it announced a change in the way in which it calculates interest on its Visa card accounts. Accounts which are not cleared on the due date will incur interest (at 28.9%) from the date when the purchases are made rather than from the due date on the statement. National Irish Bank was quick take advantage and placed half-page advertisements in the press urging card holders to switch to their Visa and Access cards. Its interest rate is 19.5% and interest accrues from the first payment date after an item has appeared on a bill.

- Atlantic Resources has signed up three partners to provide the necessary funds to bring oil from a well off the Waterford coast in return for a 50% stake in the well. The oil field was originally discovered by BP but a flow of almost 10,000 barrels per day was not considered sufficient to cover the cost of bringing it ashore.

- The Bank of Ireland's US subsidiary lived up to expectations by returning a loss of £60m in the year to the end of December. The B of I's new chief executive, Pat Molloy, said that he remained committed to First NH Banks.

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

A very mixed week. At different times the sun shone, the wind blew, some mornings were frosty, some were mild, it rained and, in the east, it snowed. On balance it could be described as a good week as I seem to recall a number of springlike, sunny days. Sunday, if a bit chilly, was one such day and it brought the throngs on to the Salthill Promenade.

Latest Temperatures: Day 7C................Night 3C

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

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

National Football League - Division One:

Donegal 2-8 Armagh 1-7

Dublin 3-11 Kerry 0-7

Meath 1-11 Down 1-11

Roscommon 0-9 Cork 1-5

National Football League - Division Two:

Kildare 2-8 Cavan 0-7

Leitrim 0-7 Derry 2-4

Mayo 1-10 Antrim 1-6

Tyrone 2-11 Longford 0-5

National Hurling League:

Clare 0-13 Cork 1-10

All Ireland Club Hurling - Semi-finals:

Patrickswell 8-12 St Gabriels 3-6

(Limerick) (London)

Glenmore 1-18 Dunloy 1-10

(Kilkenny) (Antrim)

- Tyrone captain Damien O'Hagan finished last week's game with a broken jaw after being punched by a Derry player. The incident occurred off the ball and wasn't seen by the referee. O'Hagan played on and the seriousness of his injury was not known until he was X-rayed after the match. He was detained in hospital. The last I heard was that the GAA was waiting on the referee's report and was hoping someone would have a video of the incident.

- The Metropolitan Transport Authority, which owns Gaelic Park in New York, intervened in the dispute between the family of John Kerry O'Donnell and the GAA. The O'Donnell family holds the lease on the stadium. It looks as though agreement has been reached and football and hurling will be played there again this year.

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

Premier Division:

Tues: Bohemians 0 Galway 0

Wed: St Pat's 0 Dundalk 0

Shelbourne 0 Cork 2

Sun: Athlone 0 Shelbourne 1

Bohemians 1 Shamrock R. 2

Limerick 0 Dundalk 3

St Pat's 0 Cork 3

Sligo 0 Galway 0

Waterford 1 Derry 4

First Division:

Wed: Finn Harps 2 UCD 1

Sun: Drogheda 2 Longford 0

Finn Harps 0 Bray 1

Kilkenny 1 Home Farm 1

UCD 0 Cobh 0

Monaghan 2 St James's G. 2

Irish Cup (Replays)::

Crusaders 3 Cliftonville 2

Irish League:

Ards 1 Cliftonville 1

Ballyclare 1 Carrick 0

Coleraine 0 Bangor 4

Crusaders 4 Distillery 1

Glenavon 1 Glentoran 1

Larne 4 Newry 1

Linfield 3 Ballymena 0

Omagh 2 Portadown 5

- Minister for Sport Frank Fahey had talks with the English Football Association in an effort to get more tickets for Irish supporters for the forthcoming European Cup game at Wembley. He did not succeed. He is one of a number of people who have been expressing concern at the method of allocating tickets for the game. 6,200 were given to the FAI for distribution here. Fans in England were asked to apply using forms published in the national press. The fear is that Irish fans, purchasing tickets from touts, will end up among the English fans and that this may lead to trouble.

- It's not Irish news but from the amount of publicity which it received here you might think otherwise. I am talking of Kenny Dalglish's decision to resign as manager of Liverpool Football Club. He said the pressure had become unbearable.

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

Qualifying Play-offs:

Dolphin 10 Dungannon 10

Galwegians 3 Blackrock 3

- There was one final league game in Division two on Saturday. Old Wesley were confirmed as winners of the Division with an 18-9 win over Greystones. Below, is the final table:

Table P W D L Pts

Old Wesley 9 8 0 1 16

Young Munster 9 6 2 1 14

Bangor 9 6 1 2 13

Terenure 9 6 0 3 12

Greystones 9 5 0 4 10

Sunday's Well 9 4 1 4 9

CIYMS 9 4 1 4 9

NIFC 9 2 0 7 4

Athlone 9 1 1 7 3

Corinthians 9 0 0 9 0

- The Irish selectors announced the team to play against England at Lansdowne Road on Saturday next. There are just two changes from the team which drew with Wales. Keith Crossan replaces Jack Clarke, and Neil Francis comes in for Mick Galwey. I don't think the changes are an expression of dissatisfaction with the performance of the two players who were dropped. Crossan would have been the first choice in previous games had he not sustained an injury earlier in the season. Francis has been brought in to provide extra strength to the line-out, against a very tall English team.

- I forgot to say last week that the IRFU decided to keep ten teams in Division Two of the All Ireland League. This will allow three of the four teams in the round robin play-off to enter the league. In the season just ended there were ten teams in the division but the plan was to reduce it to nine, the same as in Division One.

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

- CYCLING: Sean Kelly finished ninth in the Tour of Valencia. He was pipped for a stage win during the week. After the second stage of the Tour of Sicily, Stephen Roche is eleven seconds off the lead in sixth position.

- GOLF: Philip Walton was going well in the Gerona Open in Spain until the final round when he returned a 76. This left him 12 strokes off the lead but two better than Des Smyth, Darren Clarke and Eamon Darcy. Best placed Irish finisher was Eoghan O'Connell in eleventh place, three strokes ahead of Walton.

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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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