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The Irish Emigrant - May 13, 1991 | Print |  Email
Monday, 15 May 2006
Phase 1 of new Northern talks failed to start as delegates argued over the venue for phase 2; politicians squabbled over new Local Government legislation; water was more expensive than petrol; female garda officers learned that they would be issued with trousers for winter use; Packie Bonner had his testimonial match in Glasgow and Sinn Féin's Danny Morrison was jailed for eight years

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May 13, 1991 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.223

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Editor: Liam Ferrie Circulation: 962

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The week's news was totally dominated by the Brooke talks although in a different manner from that which was expected. The negotiations in fact have still not started as the location of the second stage talks cannot be agreed. By the end of the week there were all sorts of recriminations. Unionists were accused of breaching the agreed confidentiality. Almost everybody was blaming almost everybody else for misrepresenting positions. New conditions, which for days we were led to believe existed, were being denied at the weekend. At this stage I am confused as to what is acceptable to whom but below I give the position as I understood it to be on Saturday.

The new Local Government Bill provided most of the political news and it continues to create passion or feigned passion among our leaders. There were further developments on the Ballybay Meats saga which could lead to an acceptable outcome. For a time there there much talk of the conditions under which armed Special Branch officers were working, at the Taoiseach's residence. Note the use of the word "were"!

Other items to appear on the front pages were President Bush's heart problems and the prospect of "President" Dan Quayle, the violence in Armenia, the plight of the Kurds, the disaster in Bangladesh and famine conditions in Africa.

TALKS ABOUT WHAT?

Tuesday was to be the day when the "Brooke talks" got under way after last week's meetings to agree the agenda. Peter Brooke, being a shrewd man, decided that the talks should not begin until he was satisfied that they had some chance of being productive. The question of a venue for the second stage of the talks, involving the Irish Government, had not been settled and Mr Brooke was determined to get that out of the way before he would allow the talks to start.

That was the only item which was discussed on Tuesday. The Unionist parties would not agree to such talks taking place in Dublin. They claimed that this could be seen as legitimising the validity of Articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. Belfast was not acceptable either and it appeared that the only place they would meet would be London. The Irish Government and the SDLP were a little more flexible in their approach. Having London as the only venue for such talks was not satisfactory but almost any other suggestion would have found merit. Their preference would be to have the talks rotate between Dublin, Belfast and London. Strasbourg was mentioned as a compromise. John Taylor was supposed to have suggested the Isle of Man. If he did it is not clear who rejected it.

That was the state of play at the end of Tuesday... and Wednesday... and Thursday. By that time Peter Brooke must have been quite frustrated and he threatened postponement of further talks. What he did do was ask all the parties to go away and think about options, before getting together again on Monday. He also said he would talk to the Irish Government over the weekend and had four hours of discussions with Gerry Collins on Friday. Neither would say anything afterwards. The Government here was not directly involved in the mid-week talks although Mr Brooke obviously knew its position, and the SDLP would have similar views.

The Alliance Party is the only group which is totally unconcerned as to where the talks take place. It was also Alliance which first expressed criticism at the Unionists holding a press conference to state their position. This, despite the agreement to maintain a silence over the discussions. By Sunday the accusations as to who was being obstructive were flying thick and fast.

There was more than a little disappointment that such important negotiations should falter on an apparently minor issue. It does not augur well for the real talks, if they ever get started. The Cork Examiner had its own theory about what was happening. It suggested that the Unionists never really wanted to take part in the talks but the astuteness of Peter Brooke put them in a position where they had to agree. Now, the editorial theorises, they are trying to retrieve the situation by forcing a breakdown before the talks actually get started.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REFORM

The first Dail row on the new Local Government legislation took place on Tuesday. The argument that day was about how long TDs should debate the matter. Presumably that debate took up some of the time scheduled for the real debate. When put to the vote the Government's timetable was accepted.

Earlier the Minister for the Environment hit out at his critics and accused them of either not having read the Bill or not understanding the existing legislation. On the major criticism that he could in future gerrymander local government areas he claimed that he already had the power to define these boundaries and that the new Bill would provide some restrictions. Another contradiction which went unchallenged was the certainty with which the Bill's critics knew it was wrong and dangerous, and the equally strident claim that TDs did not have sufficient time in which to read and understand the legislation.

One of the casualties of the argument was Kerry TD John O'Leary of Fianna Fail. A warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear as a witness at a court in Tralee on Tuesday, but that's another story. Instead, he turned up in the Dail to ensure that the Government would win the vote on the timetable. Fine Gael had earlier said that, on this issue, it would not provide the traditional pairings for Government TDs.

Another casualty of the Bill was Proinsias de Rossa. He was suspended from the House for calling the Government Chief Whip a liar.

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

- I receive memos from many of you from time to time. I try to reply to them all whether or not they require a response. Now and again I know I fail to send an answer. I hope that those who have not had an acknowledgement will forgive me and understand that just typing the Emigrant occupies a large part of my time and that I have a real job to do as well.

- Last week the Sunday Tribune carried a story about tax defaulters. It said that the Revenue Commissioners were, for the first time, considering criminal proceedings against tax evaders. Some could be sent to jail. This option has been available for the last seven years and I have never seen an explanation as to why it has not been used. I was interested in the table which accompanied the article. It showed Revenue Commissioners figures for income in 1988-89. According to this 56,821 PAYE workers earned more than £25,000 per year. Only 4,860 of the self-employed admitted to having an income in this bracket.

- The milk boycott of Dunnes Stores has ended. On Monday the company's supermarkets had milk back on the shelves, but at a price of 51p per litre. This is 6p dearer than the group had planned to charge but still 3p cheaper than it is available elsewhere. It was generally assumed that the milk, which was sold under Dunnes own label, came from an independent creamery in Convoy, Co.Donegal. On Friday it was announced that agreement had been reached with all the dairies. Dunnes agreed that it would not charge less than the 51p per litre. In between times the dispute took a strange turn. There is an old law which states that only registered producers in the Dublin District Milk Board area, or those licensed by the board, can supply milk in the area. The matter was taken to court and the Donegal milk ruled not to be good enough for the people of Dublin. This raises the question as to who or what is the Dublin District Milk Board, who pays its staff, and what do they do when there isn't a dispute between Dunnes and the creameries?

- According to a survey commissioned by the Vintners' Federation 43% of publicans are "losing money". I suspect that is a euphemism for "not making as much as they would like". The report also claimed that another 25% merely broke even. As a result the Federation is proposing that some publicans surrender their licences and accept a pension. In fairness to the vintners I don't think they are looking for any support from the Government other than a commitment that the licences would not be reissued. Its odd, but you would never hear of restaurateurs saying there are too many restaurants and that some should close down. If they fail to show a profit they simply shut up shop.

- For those of you not familiar with the licensing laws here, I should say that we have this quaint custom whereby the State gives a licence to individuals which allows them to sell liquor. That would be quite reasonable if the individual relinquished the licence when it was no longer needed. Instead the licence is transferable, for a fee, to other individuals who cannot get a licence from the State. The fee can run into many thousands of pounds depending on which part of the country the licence covers. As far as I can make out the State issues very few new licences these days. Taxi licences operate in the same way and what is in effect a gift from the State becomes a valuable asset.

- The "beal bocht" claims of the vintners were put in perspective by details of a survey published in Checkout, the magazine for the grocery and off-licence trade. It stated that publicans charge six times the normal retail price for soft drinks and mineral waters. The average supermarket price of a 1.5 litre bottle of Ballygowan is 75p. Pubs charge 97.5p for 250ml which means that 1.5 litres would cost £5.85. (Although we complain bitterly about the price of petrol it has thus been calculated that we are prepared to pay six times as much for the equivalent volume of water).

- Two Gardai were suspended from duty after a motorist complained that he was being asked to pay a fine which he had already paid. Initial investigations indicate that there is a discrepancy of about £500 at the central parking fines office in Dublin. This brings to six the number of Gardai under suspension. I told you about the two who drove across the border into Donegal with a British soldier, who had been checking their caravan, standing on the tow bar. More recently I mentioned a Garda in Longford who is suspected of dealing in stolen archaeological artefacts. According to the Irish Times the other was based in Dublin. It did not say what he was charged with so I had better not guess.

- A day after the above became news the Minister for Justice announced that he planned to recruit 1,000 additional Gardai. He did not link his decision to the number suspended or the number involved in investigating their alleged activities!

- The Minister for Industry and Commerce, Des O'Malley, has accepted a recommendation from the Fair Trade Commission to remove price controls from petrol and other motor fuels. The theory is that increased competition will reduce prices. The pre-tax price of petrol here is much higher than in other EC countries. Another school of thought says that prices will rise until the Competition Bill becomes law late in the year. It is expected that the move will also reduce the number of service stations operating here. The proportion of service stations to vehicles is much higher here than in most other countries and the throughput per outlet is about 25% of the EC average.

- An unnamed Irish haemophiliac who contracted AIDS from the use of a blood coagulant is attempting to sue the manufacturers of the product in the US courts.

- It was Spring Show week at the RDS. The number of people attending the Show has been declining in recent years and it continued this year. The organisers believe that the broad range of events which are now included will reverse this trend and that the latest drop in attendance is caused by the recession.

- An unpublished report prepared by the late Breandain O hEithir claims that there are just 10,000 native Irish speakers left. This figure was disputed by Conradh na Gaeilge, which suggested that the real figure was more like 30,000.

- EOLAS has selected four potential astronauts from the 352 Irish applicants. The three men and one woman, who were not named, will have to go through a further selection process with the European Space Agency later in the year.

- There is some indication that the tax harmonisation within the EC which was to come about on January 1, 1993, may not be all that was expected of it. Luxembourg, which currently holds the EC presidency, has put forward new proposals for a minimum VAT rate of 14%, with individual countries free to set their own maximum rate.

- A Chinese student has spent the last six months in Mountjoy Prison and has still to be charged with an offence. Ji Yao Lau took part in the Tienanmen Square protests in 1989. He was jailed and tortured for his trouble but released when his mother bribed a prison officer. He then made his way to this country seeking refugee status on the basis that "Ireland has the reputation of being a neutral country". Not unnaturally he arrived here on a false passport but there are rules about such conduct and these are being applied. In typical Civil Service fashion a spokesman for the Department of Justice blamed paperwork for the delay, "We are awaiting correspondence from the UN High Commission for Refugees".

- At least two men were detained for questioning by Gardai in relation to the apparent kidnapping of an Englishman who was a resident in Castlecove, Co.Kerry. One was released after two days and there have been no further reports about the other.

- The 400 female members of the Gardai will in future be issued with trousers for winter use.

- Two paintings were stolen from Dublin galleries during the week. The first reported theft was of a Jack B. Yeats from the Guinness Hop Store. It is owned by Allied Irish Bank and is valued at £50,000. Someone apparently unscrewed the painting from the wall and removed the frame, despite the presence of two security personnel in the room. The room is admittedly large and not all parts of it are visible from a single location. The second was a Paul Henry work taken from the Oriel Gallery. This was a small oil painting of a Lough Corrib view and valued at £9,000. Gardai are considering a link between both thefts.

- Farmers owe more than £3m in arrears of health contributions to the eight health boards.

- British soldiers forced their way on board an Irish yacht in Irish waters in Carlingford Lough. A woman crew member was injured by the boom in the scuffle which took place. The Irish Government has lodged a protest.

- Things have not been going well for Brian Burke back at the hearings in Australia. I thought I heard a report saying that he had brought forward his resignation as Ambassador to Ireland to have immediate effect. The Irish Times says that he has in fact been sacked.

- Gardai have identified and interviewed a teenage girl whose dead baby was discovered in a field outside Enniscorthy a few weeks ago.

- One of five Piper 28 planes being delivered from Canada to Shannon developed engine trouble 400 miles out from the Irish coast. Rescue services were alerted and an RAF Nimrod aircraft and Sea King helicopter were dispatched. The pilot eventually landed safely at Shannon with an estimated five minutes to spare before the engine would have died out completely.

- Mrs Gloria Harkin (29) died from stab wounds in her Letterkenny home on Friday night. A Derry man named as Edward Harkin (38) was later charged with manslaughter.

- Some sort of a fracas in Limerick's Bedford Row, in the early hours of Saturday, ended with four young Limerick men being treated in hospital. Three had stab wounds and the fourth had been struck on the head with an iron bar.

- Skipper Thomas Power of Kilmore Quay and his crew of three had to abandon their 75-trawler off the coast of Wales when it caught fire and sank.

- It was a big day in Celtic Park, Glasgow, on Sunday when Packie Bonnar had his testimonial match. More than 38,000 turned up to watch Celtic play the Irish national side. Burtonport in Co.Donegal was apparently deserted for the day as Packie's neighbours had almost all travelled over for the event. It must have been a strange afternoon for the spectators who week in and week out passionately want to win. This was one game which they did not wish to see either side lose. If pressed the majority would have seen the 3-2 result in favour of Celtic as just about reflecting their priorities. Gerry Creaney (he probably also has an Irish Granny!) scored all three for Celtic, while Slaven and David Kelly scored for Ireland. Bonnar is thought to be close to £250,000 richer following this game.

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

- Colin Brady (48), a free-lance journalist, died two weeks after he was attacked in his east Belfast home by what the RUC described as "a bunch of drunken thugs".

- The strange saga of Kevin Barry O'Donnell of Coalisland, continues. He is the 21-year-old student who was released by an English Court after he convinced the jury that two Kalashnikov rifles found in his car in London were not his and that he was on his way to dispose of them when stopped by police. He was then deported from Britain. He was arrested again on April 20 after the RUC said they found an RPG-7 rocket and a loaded rifle in a parked car in Coalisland. At a Belfast Court on Wednesday the prosecution lawyer withdrew all charges against him and another man and he again walked free.

- Former Sinn Fein publicity director, Danny Morrison, was jailed for eight years after being found guilty of falsely imprisoning an RUC informer. The judge dismissed his claim that he was merely in the house to arrange for the public admission by the man that he had been acting as an informer. On Sunday Sinn Fein claimed that he and when of his co-accused were being victimised by the prison authorities. It was alleged that they were being kept apart from other prisoners, locked up without exercise for 24 hours per day and being refused a change of clothing.

- Three people were taken to hospital with gunshot wounds after an incident in Larne in the early hours of Sunday morning. A 55-year-old man was arrested and terrorist involvement has been ruled out.

> > > > > > > > > THE COURTS < < < < < < < < <

- Christopher Hendley, the former British paratrooper who last week was found guilty of the manslaughter of his wife at their home in Cork, was jailed for five years.

- Mikail Oxford, a native of South Africa who had taken out Irish citizenship was arrested in a bar in Ardrahan, Co.Galway, on Monday night. He was taken to Athlone Garda station and charged with being in possession of cannabis with a street value of £250,000. His arrest was followed a short time later by the arrest of Tremayne Light who faced similar charges. Mr Oxford gave an address in Corrandulla and Mr Light in Ardrahan. If you know either Corrandulla or Ardrahan you will agree that you could not find more unlikely spots for drug dealing.

- The receiver of Ballybay Meats was granted an order restraining the company's former chairman and managing director, George McCabe, from interfering in the the sale of the meat plant. The order referred to Mr McCabe's two brothers and another man. The receiver, Tom Grace, told the court that he believed that the McCabes were orchestrating a campaign of intimidation aimed at deterring would-be purchasers and forcing the sale of the company to George McCabe for an unrealistic price. After this order was granted the picket was taken off the gate of the premises and the pile of rubble at the entrance was removed. Later in the week Mr Grace said that there had been a renewed interest in the company from prospective buyers. The Sunday Tribune carried a report that George McCabe is to appear in court on an assault charge in June.

- A number of people who invested money with a company called Holbern Investment Trust Ltd are anxious to trace the principal director of the company, Bernard O'Donnell of Co.Meath. A court has ordered that Mr O'Donnell and his wife, who is a co-director, must not reduce their assets below £300,000.

- The State withdrew charges of assault against three prisoners from Portlaoise Jail after the defence called 17 top-security prisoners as witnesses. The three were accused of attacking another prisoner. Initially the prosecution asked the judge to dismiss the request for the witnesses, who included Dessie O'Hare, as none had witnessed the attack. The judge refused and the charges were withdrawn without explanation.

- Charges were also withdrawn by the State in another case this week without any explanation being offered. John Fitzgerald of Callan, Co.Kilkenny, is an anti-blood sports activist who was due to face 28 charges of sending threatening and indecent letters to Government Ministers and TDs.

- The widow of a man whose public house was blown up in 1982 failed in her attempt to obtain compensation amounting to £209,000. When the case appeared in court a number of witnesses gave evidence indicating that the owner had arranged the destruction of the Bolton Horse pub on Bolton Street, Dublin.

- A 23-year-old Dubliner was rather upset when he was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment for theft. He tore a microphone from its fittings and threw it at the judge. Despite missing his target he now has to face additional charges.

- The judge in the Kerry Criminal Circuit Court readily forgave Fianna Fail TD John O'Leary for his failure to appear as a witness on Tuesday. When he did give evidence on Wednesday we heard of rather strange behaviour which some people, including the jury apparently, find quite acceptable. Mr O'Leary is the agent of the Irish Nationwide Building Society in Killarney. The man whom he once employed to manage this business was in court on a charge of fraudulently converting £23,000 of clients' funds for his own use. In defence he claimed that two woman clients, aged 79 and 85, had given him the money as interest-free loans. He had their signatures to prove this, but the women said that they had never knowingly signed documents giving him the money. The jury found him not guilty. Mr O'Leary, in evidence, said that receiving interest-free personal loans from clients was not unusual and that he once had such a loan, amounting to £6,500, from an elderly male client. This admission gave rise to a substantial article in yesterday's Sunday Tribune and Mr O'Leary may not have heard the last of it.

- Two young Dublin men aged 18 and 21 were each sentenced to 200 hours community work. Their crime? They set fire to a house on Leeson Street, causing the death of a squatter and £250,000 worth of damage. Their excuse? They had been drinking cider.

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

- The Hibernia Meats plant of Sallins, Co.Kildare is to close with the loss of over 100 jobs. Most of the workers have in fact been laid off since January. The company is owed a substantial sum by Iraq and has been unable to sell to its other main market, Iran, since the start of the "mad cow disease" scare. Hibernia has another plant in Athy which is not under threat.

- The TEAM Aer Lingus hangar was officially opened by the Taoiseach on Monday. The aircraft maintenance facility has of course been in operation for some months and employs about 2,000 people. Thirteen aircraft can be serviced simultaneously in the hangar.

- Irish employees work more days per year than any other EC country or the five EFTA countries. The Irish worker is expected to come to work on 231 days (20 days annual leave) compared with 229 in Britain and 220 in Germany. I suspect US workers envy their Irish counterparts.

- The SPS plant which makes fasteners at Shannon is being offered for sale. 170 of the 260-strong workforce are currently on a three-day week.

- The threatened all-out strike in the Waterford hospitals never materialised. Both sides accepted a Labour Court recommendation.

- Bose Ireland, the US company which manufactures audio equipment in Carrickmacross, is investing £6m (with the help of the IDA) in an expansion which will add 90 jobs, bringing total employed to 300.

- Oxford International of Chicago appears to be in the same business as Bose and announced plans to open a factory in Dundalk. Employment will rise to 100 over a five year period.

- The Irish Crown Cork Company Ltd in Cork may have to pay £600,000 in back pay to 54 women workers. An equality officer ruled that there was an anomaly in that the women received £30 per week less than a man who was employed as a cleaner. The company is appealing the decision to the Labour Court.

- On Friday the Irish Times forecast that the closure of Digital's Clonmel plant will be confirmed this week. The company would only confirm that an announcement will be made on Tuesday.

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

- The British-Irish inter-parliamentary body met for three days in London. It considered a report on emigration from Ireland to Britain which it commissioned at its session in December. The report claimed that emigration was averaging 15,000 per year from 1981 to '86 and 30,000 per annum since then. The Rev. Ian Paisley was annoyed that the group should meet during the period in which the Brooke talks were scheduled.

- A nice little row developed when the Garda Representatives Association's annual conference was told that members of the Special Branch guarding the Taoiseach's residence were accommodated in a leaking, rat-infested glasshouse. Mr Haughey was said to be incensed at this allegation and he ordered all plain clothes officers from his property. The Association attempted a damage limitation exercise by absolving the Taoiseach and blaming the Department of Justice. The uniformed Gardai who guard the entrance to the Kinsealy estate issued a statement saying that they worked in excellent conditions and that Mr Haughey and his family always treated them with the greatest courtesy. The gate lodge in which they are based was, they said, refurbished partly at Mr Haughey's expense. For the most part the opposition sat back and enjoyed themselves but eventually somebody asked for details of the extra costs which will be incurred by the new mobile patrols which are necessary as a result of the removal of the Special Branch.

- It wasn't a good week for Fianna Fail. Apart from the row in which the Taoiseach found himself and the unfavourable publicity surrounding John O'Leary's loan, Ned O'Keeffe also received attention which he and the party could have done without. Something occurred between the Cork TD and RTE's political correspondent Una Claffey in the Dail bar. She complained to the Fianna Fail Chief Whip and Mr O'Keeffe was quick off the mark in sending her a formal written apology. I am sure the press have the exact details of the incident but they are not saying, although assault was mentioned in one report.

- The welcome given by John Bruton to Senator Shane Ross on his admission to the Fine Gael party did not meet with the unanimous approval of party members. The party leadership has now imposed Senator Ross as a candidate for the Bray local electoral area in next month's local elections. This has resulted in three existing Fine Gael councillors and another FG candidate withdrawing their candidacy. John Bruton says he will not be pressurised into changing his decision.

- Dublin City councillors voted unanimously not to make the Mansion House available to Sinn Fein for its annual Ard Fheis in future.

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

- I forgot to mention last week that successful business woman Detta O Cathain, who has spent most of her career in Britain, was appointed to the British House of Lords. She is now a baroness.

- The Maguire Seven appeal opened in London on Tuesday. By Thursday it was adjourned after more surprising revelations into the handling of forensic evidence by the British authorities. First the Director of Public Prosecutions changed his position when challenged about some of the wording he used. This seemed to imply that they might still be just a little bit guilty. He replied to counsel for one of the seven, saying that he did not wish to imply that any of them were guilty of handling explosives, and that when he completed his submission he would leave no stigma. It was later revealed that the prosecution had withheld crucial evidence from the defence at the time of the first appeal. A scientist involved in the Birmingham Six case told one of the defence lawyers that he had discovered an official report which conceded that the material used to carry out the forensic tests on the Seven was itself probably contaminated with nitroglycerine.

- Dermot Gallagher will take up his duties as Ambassador to the United States in August. He is currently head of the Anglo-Irish division at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Two other ambassadorial appointments were announced. Andrew O'Rourke moves from London to Denmark. He is to be replaced by Joseph Small who is currently Ambassador to Austria.

- The fifth annual Irish Times/Harvard University symposium on international affairs recently took place at the John F.Kennedy School of Government on the Harvard campus. The theme was "Media coverage of the Gulf War - journalism or jingoism". Among the speakers were journalist Alexander Cockburn, former White House spokesman Larry Speakes, the defence correspondent of the BBC and the head of public relations at the British Department of Defence.

- Graduate emigration was the subject of the feature article in the Working and Living supplement to Friday's Irish Times. As many of you are part of the statistics it seems appropriate that I should reproduce the table accompanying the article.

GRADUATE EMIGRATION 1980-1988

Status (year after 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 emigration)

% at work in Ireland 80.0 77.6 71.9 69.3 69.3 67.4 65.7 60.4 62.5

% unemployed 11.6 14.5 19.9 22.3 17.5 16.9 15.0 11.1 8.1

% emigrated to find 8.4 7.9 8.2 8.4 13.1 15.7 19.3 28.6 29.4 work

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

- Readers of the British consumer magazine Holiday Which had good things to say about this country. Ireland is considered one of the safest places to visit if you wish to avoid mugging, illness or accidents.

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

- I heard from my sister that a replica Viking ship was launched in Moville, Co.Donegal, last Sunday. There is some plan to sail it to the Scottish islands with a crew from Ireland and Scotland. This story did not make the national media. Well, it is 180 miles from Dublin and you have to go through the North!

- A 700-year-old, well-preserved Norman harbour has been discovered in Dublin by an archaeologist. The oak-built harbour was found at Usher's Quay about 25 feet below street level, after a property development company invited Leo Swan to excavate a site before construction work began.

- A high-technology windmill which helps to provide power on the island of Cape Clear may lose all the features which makes it different from other power-generating windmills. The ESB and the German supplier have failed to agree financial terms which would allow its retention. The German company is threatening to remove a computer and the battery storage system.

- Pollution has wiped out all fish life on a 1.5 mile stretch of the Oranmore River just before it enters Galway Bay. It has been established that toxic material entered the river at the small industrial estate just outside the village but investigations are still trying to identify who was responsible. Investigations are also taking place into the dumping of 40 animal carcasses into the Clare River which flows into Lough Corrib.

- The Taoiseach inaugurated a project, the "Discovery Programme" (his own idea), which will make £500,000 available every year for the excavation of the nation's many archaeological sites. Archaeologists are delighted with the news.

- The Custom House in Dublin has been cleaned up and restored for its 200th anniversary, at a cost of £6m. A special ceremony, including a fireworks display marked the occasion on Saturday night. I haven't been in Dublin for a long time but the building looks extremely attractive from the many photographs which have appeared in the press over the last few days.

> > > > > > > > > THE ARTS < < < < < < < < <

- Derry City Council announced that the city is to have a year-long cultural festival in 1992. The aim of IMPACT 92 is to promote the city internationally, celebrate its culture and in some way bring its citizens together.

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

- I mentioned last week that Senator Pol O Foighil was having problems with Fine Gael over his non-selection as a candidate for the Galway Corporation election. Fianna Fail had its own rows in this respect. Peggy Carty O'Brien thought she would have made a good city councillor and put her name forward. She failed to be selected as a candidate by just one vote and is now blaming her local Cumann in the Claddagh, for not giving her the support she thought she deserved. She says she will change Cumann but will not leave the party.

- The Eyre Square Shopping Centre opens next Thursday. This is a few weeks behind schedule but it was a massive undertaking so I suppose that is understandable. Jack Charlton is the celebrity chosen to perform the opening ceremony. I will have more on this next week.

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

EXCHANGE RATES:

IRISH POUND May 10 May 3

Sterling 0.9020 0.9027

US Dollar 1.5464 1.5340

Deutschmark 2.6784 2.6753

French franc 9.0591 9.0514

Dutch guilder 3.0158 3.0120

Belgian franc 55.11 55.04

Italian lira 1982.49 1980.39

Spanish Peseta 165.50 165.14

Japanese Yen 214.75 212.61

Swiss franc 2.2662 2.2584

Canadian dollar 1.7804 1.7661

Australian dollar 1.9737 1.9766

- The Jefferson Smurfit Group reported pre-tax profits of £173.1m for the year to the end of January, down 30% on last year. However, earnings per share rose from 51p to 52p as a result of the restructuring which took place in the company's US operation last year. The market was happy with the outcome and shares rose 10p to 610p.

- Profits at Elan Corporation of Athlone almost doubled to £6.5m in 1990. Earnings per share went from 21p to 41p and turnover rose from £30.2m to £42m. For some reason the company's share price fell by almost three pounds but it is still the best performer on the Dublin Stock Exchange this year.

- The property and transport group Seafield turned in a loss of £12.4m for 1990. The loss arose from the write down of £20.1m in relation to some of the company's UK development properties.

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

Showers on Monday became less frequent on Tuesday. The sun shone for much of the time after that until low cloud and light misty rain came in Friday evening. Those conditions came and went throughout the weekend. It continues to be unseasonably cold with temperatures during the week about five degrees below those shown for Sunday below:

Latest Temperatures: Day 15C........................Night 10C

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

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

National Hurling League - Final:

Wexford 0-10 Offaly 2-6

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

FAI Cup Final:

Shamrock R. 0 Galway 1

- Underdogs Galway United were not in the slightest overawed by the fact that their opponents had won the cup on 24 previous occasions while they were looking for their first win. Over 15,000 were at Lansdowne Road to watch Galway attack from the start and come close to scoring on two occasions early in the game. Galway always had the edge but it wasn't until four minutes from the end that the crucial goal came. Tommy Keane, who was adjudged man of the match, sent in a cross from a very tight position near the end-line. The onrushing Galway captain, Johnny Glynn (of Digital, Mervue), met the ball on the volley and sent it past the keeper.

- Ireland plays Chile at Lansdowne Road in a friendly on May 22. John Aldridge has been left out of the squad. Paul McGrath and Tony Cascarino will also be missing as their club side is insisting that they are available for a tour of the Far East. Roy Keane of Nottingham Forest has been included.

- Roy Coyle, manager of Linfield for fourteen years and now with Ards, is to manage Derry City next season.

- It looks as though Jim McLaughlin, who recently resigned as manager of Derry, will join Shelbourne in an advisory capacity.

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

- RUGBY: Simon Geoghegan was named the Most Promising Player of the Year at the Whitbread World Awards in London. He was later selected as the Rugby Writers of Ireland-Digital Player of the Year. Cork Constitution received the Club of the Year award at the same ceremony.

- GOLF: Joe Carr has been appointed captain of the Royal and Ancient. He is the first Irishman to receive the honour and takes up his duties at the end of September. For most of you who are too young to remember, Joe Carr is Ireland's most successful amateur golfer who won 40 championships, including three British Amateur titles, and twice captained the Walker Cup team.

Things are not going well for Ronan Rafferty. He failed to make the cut in the Madrid Open on Friday. He was about to equal Neil Coles' record of qualifying in 56 consecutive tournaments but failed at the final hurdle. Ryder Cup selection is now looking somewhat remote for him as he is way down the Order of Merit and plans to take the month of August off to be with his wife who is expecting their second child. It wasn't a good competition for the Irish, with the best placed 15 strokes behind the winner.

- BOXING: Nineteen-year-old Paul Griffin of Dublin won the gold medal in the featherweight division in the European Championships in Gothenburg. This is Ireland's first gold medal in the championships for 42 years.

Dave McCauley again successfully defended his IBF world flyweight title in Belfast on Saturday. His challenger came from Puerto Rica.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 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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