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The Irish Emigrant - June 3, 1991 | Print |  Email
Thursday, 01 June 2006
Three more UDR soldiers and an RUC officer were killed by the IRA but the North's politicians still refused to talk to each other; Fine Gael wondered if there really was no such thing as bad publicity following its association with Eoghan Harris and Twink; as a safety measure the Minister for the Environment planned to ban all parking outside schools (another failed initiative); Dr Cahal Daly was named a cardinal; and I thought a Liberian stowaway would have difficulty going about unnoticed after he fled from a docked ship.

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June 3, 1991 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.226

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Editor: Liam Ferrie Circulation: 990

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The talks on the political future of the North have still not started. Five weeks have now elapsed since they were due to begin and only six remain before the allotted time expires. There is an assumption that more time will be made available if ever the talks do start. It was the failure to make any significant progress in bringing the opposing parties together which dominated most of the week's headlines. The biggest story in this regard was the rejection by the Unionists of Lord Carrington as a possible chairman for strand two.

The IRA's recent escalation of violence was maintained when a 2,000lb bomb killed three UDR soldiers in Co.Armagh. This incident took place on Friday night and was, without doubt, the top story of the weekend.

Monday's headlines were different. Then the main focus of attention was on the Fine Gael political rally of last Saturday, with developments in Ethiopia also prominent. The by now infamous sketch, performed by Twink, written by Eoghan Harris and defended by John Bruton, has taken on a life of its own and was still providing copy for yesterday's papers.

A photograph of Dr Cahal Daly was prominent on the front pages of Thursday's newspapers. That followed the news that he was to be made a cardinal later this month. You can't keep Larry Goodman out of the news. One of his companies has purchased the Ballybay Meats plant and he is still at loggerheads with Des O'Malley.

LATEST: News is just coming in of an incident near Coagh, Co.Tyrone where security forces shot three people dead in what is described as an undercover operation. The shooting occurred at about 7:30 this morning.

ANOTHER THREE DEAD

Presumably the politicians see no connection between their inability to start talking and the violence which has plagued the North for more than twenty years. While they find limitless reasons for not talking to each other, another three people died on Friday night. At about 11:30pm a massive explosion rocked Glenane UDR base, six miles south of Markethill, in South Armagh. Three UDR soldiers died in the blast and another 14 people were injured. Originally it was thought that the IRA had fired mortars into the base but it has since been established that a truck was allowed to run down a sloped field at the rear of the barracks. It crashed through the perimeter fence and a bomb estimated to contain 2,000lb of explosives was detonated.

The three who died were Lance Corporal Robert Crozier (46), Privates Paul Blakely (30) and Sydney Hamilton (44). All three were local men and were married with families. Another three soldiers were detained in hospital where their condition was described as stable.

This is thought to be the biggest bomb ever successfully used against the security forces during the current troubles. The explosion was heard fifty miles away in Balbriggan, to the North of Dublin, and shook windows in Dundalk. Houses within a quarter of a mile of the base were damaged. There was widespread condemnation of this latest incident with Archbishop Eames, Seamus Mallon (SDLP), Ken Maginnis (UUP), the Rev Ian Paisley (DUP) and the Taoiseach being quoted widely.

STALEMATE

It wasn't until Monday that I realised that all wasn't well with the proposed talks on the North. A revisit to last week's newspapers indicated that I hadn't followed developments closely enough. I reported what was said on the BBC while I was in England but if I had stayed close to the story I would have realised that the talks were unlikely to start on Tuesday, as planned. The SDLP were quietly adamant that, as they had agreed to an ultimatum imposed by Peter Brooke, the others should be made to accept the same conditions. As I reported last week there were a couple of items which had still to be agreed in relation to the second strand talks. The SDLP made no secret that it did not trust the Unionists' motives for failing to reach agreement, and suspected them of keeping issues open to sabotage the second strand, and so avoid meeting the Dublin Government. Peter Brooke worked hard to remove these remaining obstacles. On Tuesday there was agreement from everyone but the Unionists on the terms of reference to be given to the chairman. The Unionists amended this proposal but I heard no more of that as the question of the chairman took all our attention.

The big story came on Thursday when it became known that the Unionists had rejected Lord Carrington as chairman for the second strand talks. We were aware a day earlier that Peter Brook was trying valiantly to find a chairman who would be acceptable to all. We also knew he met someone in London and that he then flew to Belfast to talk to the Rev Ian Paisley and James Molyneux. That meeting broke up with a statement from the Unionists saying that no progress had been made and that no specific individual had been suggested as chairman. When it was revealed that this was untrue there was no end to the recriminations. The Unionists insisted that they had been asked to keep Lord Carrington's name a secret and now claimed that the Northern Ireland Office had leaked the name to discredit them.

The Unionists disapproved of Lord Carrington because he was involved in meetings with the Dublin Government in the early 80s and they say these meetings eventually led to the Anglo-Irish Agreement. It was Lord Carrington who chaired the talks which brought majority rule to Zimbabwe and he was the British Foreign Secretary when the Argentine army invaded the Falklands. Neither of these facts endeared him to the Unionists. Ken Maginnis said on the radio that Lord Carrington's "neutral approach towards Northern Ireland" when he was Defence Minister and Foreign Secretary made him unacceptable. Nationalists point out that he was Defence Minister when the Bloody Sunday killings took place in Derry and when internment was introduced but they were still prepared to accept him as chairman.

The British Establishment, the Irish Government and the SDLP all appear to believe that the Unionists are being totally unreasonable. They, on the other hand, accuse the SDLP of negotiating from a distance. They say that agreements between them and Mr Brooke are later found to be unacceptable to the SDLP and/or the Irish Government. The editor of the Newsletter is one person who sides wholeheartedly with the position taken by the Unionists. He thinks they have been very accommodating in all their negotiations and blames the SDLP in particular for the current impasse.

On Friday Peter Brooke visited Gerry Collins in Dublin. After a four hour meeting they said little to say to the press but were still confident that progress could be made. The latest position is that the DUP has submitted the names of nine people whom they say would make acceptable chairpersons for the second strand talks. This list is currently being considered by Mr Brooke and the various parties involved.

NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY?

Monday morning's newspapers and radio news continued to dwell on Twink, Eoghan Harris and the "poorly attended" Fine Gael political rally at the RDS last weekend. No one had a good word to say about Twink's comedy routine. John Bruton initially said that he had no reason to apologise to anyone but his spokesman on health, Ivan Yates, was doing the apologising, "to anyone who was offended", for him. By Monday evening Mr Bruton had second thoughts and issued a statement "regretting any personal offence" caused by the sketch.

I thought that would be the end of it but the media was enjoying itself and refused to let go. On Tuesday the front page of the Irish Times carried a cartoon depicting a distinctly uncomfortable John Bruton with a muzzled dog on a lead. The dog looked like Eoghan Harris. This was of course a take-off of an ad in the previous week's papers announcing new rules for the owners of dangerous dogs. Beside the cartoon was an article suggesting that Harris might resign. By Wednesday the story had been relegated to page two but was still given a fair few column inches as a reporter speculated as to whether Eoghan Harris would be called to account for himself in front of the FG trustees. We were also assured that day that Mr Harris did not write the political speeches made at the rally. Another two articles appeared on Thursday. One was of a row at a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Women's Rights. A PD member tried to raise the issue and was told by Fine Gael that she was using it for political gain. Alan Dukes was said to have called for the dismissal of Harris from his PR position in Fine Gael but their were different accounts as to the support for this.

The story should be played out by now but the Sunday papers are still milking it for all its worth. I had enough by that stage and did not read any of it.

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

- Today is a bank holiday in Ireland and I have taken advantage of the long weekend to visit Moville. Once again technology and Telecom Eireann ensure that even here in the far North of Donegal I can still keep in touch with you. (Everyone that is, except readers in Ireland. My message quota in ALL-IN-1 was exceeded and I could access your distribution list).

- The best of "Scrap Saturday" has been issued on tape. The tape has 70 minutes of the best of the Saturday morning radio programme which cruelly put our politicians and other public figures firmly in their place.

- Three members of the Soviet parliament visited Ireland during the week. This was the first official visit from such a group and it is hoped that formal parliamentary links will be established.

- The Irish Times is running a series of articles entitled "The State of the Counties". This week featured Roscommon, Galway, Louth, Westmeath and Wexford. Each report tries to convey what it is like to live in the particular county, looking at varying aspects such as industry, commerce, employment, tourism, and the effect of emigration.

- A traveller's development group is to receive £300,000 in grants from the EC and the Government over the next four years. The grants are to help them win equality in Irish society and recognition for their culture.

- Following the Minister for the Environment's ruling on the control of dangerous dogs some people have been upset at the inclusion of bulldogs. Apparently this breed is quite harmless. One vet said that "Licking is the most eventful thing they will ever try". It was also pointed out that it is almost impossible to muzzle a bulldog as it has virtually no snout.

- The Minister for Agriculture, Michael O'Kennedy, recently succeeded in convincing the EC that a further two million acres of Irish farmland should be designated as disadvantaged areas. This will benefit a further 25,000 farmers in 15 counties. Farmers in such areas qualify for additional subsidies when they carry out improvements to their farms, receive headage payments for sheep and cattle, and are exempt from some of the penalties imposed to curtail over-production. Of course nothing any politician does is ever considered good enough. Farm leaders said that it would not come near to compensating for the recent EC farm price agreement. Individual farmers who just missed out were hurt and mystified. Opposition politicians started by saying it was all a stunt for the local elections and that he would not reveal the areas affected for fear of losing votes in other areas. Mr O'Kennedy did in fact publish these details.

- A feature of Irish life is the almost total disregard a large section of the community has for our parking laws. Nowhere is this more evident than outside schools (well maybe outside churches at Mass time!) in the morning and afternoon. Double and treble parking on double-yellow lines is commonplace, as parents deposit and collect their little darlings each day. The Minister for the Environment sees this as a problem in that accidents occur as children dash between cars, to get into school or get their lift home. He is going to ban all parking outside schools in an effort to save lives. It remains to be seen whether, like many other laws here, any one will actually pay attention to it.

- The dispute between the Eastern Health Board and the charity which runs Cheeverstown House has been resolved. The settlement means that the 60 vacant beds for the mentally handicapped will now be put to use.

- A deer abattoir is to be built in Mitchelstown, Co.Cork. Deer farming has become more popular as farmers look for opportunities to avoid products which are in surplus. One company involved in the joint venture has contracts to provide 3,000 tons of venison to Holland and the US annually.

- Dr Cahal Daly, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, will be made a cardinal at a ceremony in the Vatican on June 28. There was some speculation last week that this announcement would be made, but church authorities were so vehement in their denials that I decided that it did not merit a mention. It was expected that he would be eventually become a cardinal but coming just six months after his appointment to Armagh is, I think, unusually quick.

- The Lotto prize fund once again exceeded £1m on Wednesday. Two tickets had the winning six numbers. One winner was in the south-east and the other was held by a syndicate of 40 employees at our immediate neighbours on the Ballybrit Industrial Estate, McGraw Hill. Each collected a sum in excess of £20,000. The fourteen other workers who missed out were either on holiday, sick or just failed to contribute.

- A Liberian stowaway caused a bit a stir when he disappeared from a vessel at Auginish Alumina, outside Limerick. Immigration officials refused to let him ashore but when a crew member went to give him breakfast on Friday morning he was no longer in his cabin. A major search took place with one of the concerns that he may have ended up in the Shannon. He was supposed to have no money and would not have blended into the scenery too well but, nevertheless, managed to find his way to England where he was arrested. The authorities there returned him to this country. He will soon have company as five more Liberian stowaways are known to be on their way to Limerick on board two other ships.

- The Minister for Energy told the Dail that he expected work on a gas pipeline between this country and Britain to start in March 1993.

- The UN has asked the Government to make available 15 army officers to act as observers in Angola and in the Western Sahara.

- As of Saturday everyone is entitled to free hospital treatment in public hospitals, including consultant services. Until now those earning in excess of £16,700 were ineligible. An article in the Irish Times supports the view I expressed when this proposal was first announced. That is, that people in the higher income bracket are usually insured with the VHI and will continue to avail of this to avoid the delays often experienced in the public wards.

- The pilgrimage season opened on Lough Derg (Co.Donegal) on Saturday. From now until the middle of August thousands of pilgrims will visit the island, known as St Patrick's Purgatory, and carry out one of the more rigorous penitential routines still being observed. If you plan to visit the island you cannot go as a tourist. Instead you are expected to have started a fast from the previous midnight. When you reach the island you discard your shoes and say a prescribed series of prayers at various parts of the island. You get no sleep the first night and the only sustenance you are given is hot water. At a later stage you are allowed a couple of slices of toast and black tea. On the second night you do get to bed and after some additional praying on the third day you head for home, but are expected to continue with your fast until midnight. If you have led an exemplary life and don't feel you need to make such sacrifices it is said to be a good place to find a spouse. I found my wife before I had to resort to that!

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

- An RUC officer, who was shot in an IRA attack in the University area of Belfast in the early hours of last Saturday, died from his wounds on Monday. He was named as Edward Spence (26) from Larne, a married man with two children.

- Plans are almost complete for an unofficial public inquiry into the shooting by British soldiers of Fergal Caraher at Cullyhanna last December. Five legal experts from the US, Britain, Germany and France will hear from about 20 witnesses who will be questioned by four lawyers, a barrister and a solicitor, from both sides of the border. About 200 observers are expected to attend the inquiry which opens on June 22. The authorities are refusing to co-operate in any way and a solicitor for Mr Caraher's widow has been refused permission to have the dead man's car examined. He has also been refused access to the autopsy report and other forensic evidence. The authorities are still maintaining a total silence on this case.

- An RUC Reserve Constable and his wife were found dead at their home in Maghaberry, Co.Antrim, on Monday. A legally held gun was found beside them and police do not believe that anyone else was involved. On the same day the body of a man was found in a caravan at Crossgar, Co.Down. Again a legally held gun was found at the scene and police are not seeking anyone else.

- About ten days ago a petrol bomb was thrown at a bus in Belfast and the driver received very serious burns. No one else was on the bus at the time. Since then a 17-year-old youth has appeared in court on an attempted murder charge. He was injured in both knees as someone had already kneecapped him because of his alleged involvement in the attack. Another youth should have appeared in court with him but he was detained in hospital with more serious injuries from being shot in the knees also.

- Three people have appeared in Belfast Magistrates Court on charges of attempting to defraud a drug company. In court it was alleged that they were connected with the IRA and that they were dealing in "angel dust" with a street value of £4m.

- The High Court in Belfast has ruled that the families of the three members of the IRA killed by the SAS in Gibraltar cannot pursue a compensation claim against the British Government. I think this was another attempt by the families to have details of the killings discussed in open court. So far certificates issued by the British Foreign Secretary have prevented any investigation of the killings in British courts.

- On Sunday a bomb exploded under the car of a woman, outside her house near Lisburn. She was named as a Mrs Ceila Gourley, described as a senior civil servant. She is said to have received serious injuries requiring the amputation of both legs.

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

- The Scotch Whisky Association succeeded in obtaining a temporary injunction against Cooley Distillery plc of Co.Louth, preventing it from selling a product known as Glen Gold under the pretext that it is whisky (or whiskey). The High Court in Dublin heard that the liquid was made up of 10% to 15% whiskey with the balance a neutral alcohol distilled from molasses. As such it does not qualify, under EC regulations, to be called whiskey. The SWA also complained at the use of the word "Glen" saying that this was commonly used in naming Scotch whiskies.

- There was no shortage of compensation claims in Dublin courts during the week. The biggest award, £750,000, went to a Kinvara girl aged 3.5. She is now paraplegic following injuries received when she was a front-seat passenger in a car which crashed near Ennis when she was three months old. The girl, through her father, had taken the action against her mother who was driving the car.

- A 17-year-old Limerick girl was awarded £320,000 when she sued the Mid-Western Health Board. She has been in a near total coma since she had an appendix operation at Limerick Regional Hospital in 1982. The main reason the judge gave for finding in favour of the girl was that the hospital had failed to offer any reason for what occurred.

- A Dublin woman who received £8,000 in damages for injuries suffered in a car accident in 1986 was back in court looking for more in relation to another accident in 1988. This time she was given £3,500.

- A seven-year-old Dublin girl who was trapped in a lift with her parents for almost an hour was awarded £4,000 for the distress which this caused.

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

- The Goodman Group has purchased the Ballybay Meats plant from the liquidator. The rumoured price is £1m, twice that offered by the plant's former owner, George McCabe, and just one sixth of what it is reputed to have cost to build. Just about everyone was pleased but the first comment the farming community made was to ask for the £1m which was owed by the previous owners, to farmers who supplied it with pigs. They did not explain the logic behind their claim.

- The Cow and Gate company suspended the 116 workers at its Wexford baby food plant. It cited continuous industrial unrest over the last 12 months. Since January the workers have applied an overtime ban in pursuit of a wage claim. The Dutch parent company has not given any indication that it is prepared to reopen the plant.

- Journalists at RTE have voted to take industrial action in three weeks time over a dispute on manning levels.

- Key Tronic, a US-based manufacturer of computer components, is to expand its operation in Dundalk. The expansion will cost £5m and will bring the workforce up from 250 to 440. Today the plant manufactures keyboards but plans to make notebook computers in the future.

- SIPTU, the nation's largest trade union, held its annual conference during the week. The Taoiseach was accused of being indifferent to the growing unemployment problem, now that he had the signature of the unions on the Programme for Economic and Social Progress. Whether as a result of this criticism or not, he has called a meeting with union leaders for this week.

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

- Politicians of all parties are trying to create issues on which to fight the local elections. They succeed in getting publicity in the media most days but I don't propose to report on much of the rhetoric which takes place.

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

- A judge in the Philippines has dropped kidnapping charges against a former Irish Columban priest and his Philippino-born wife. Jack Hynes has been working with the homeless in London but now plans to return to the Philippines to join his wife, who went home earlier this year for her mother's funeral.

- There is to be a further hearing in the Dessie Ellis case in London on June 13 and 14. This follows the recent refusal of two judges to make a ruling on the validity of the charges against him.

- Sister Betty Diamond (Derry) and Sister Mary O'Loughlin (Clare) were in Addis Ababa when it fell to rebels during the week. Sister Diamond was on the phone to RTE giving details of the situation. An Irish aid worker, Tom Lavin, was also interviewed over the phone from Ethiopia.

- Colonel Bryan Daniel O'Connor should have become the first Irish citizen to travel in space on Saturday. He is the commander of the latest space shuttle mission which had its scheduled launch date postponed for a second time. The US Airforce Colonel became an Irish citizen on May 17. His grandfather left here at the turn of the century and settled in Omaha, Nebraska. Colonel O'Connor has never actually visited Ireland but hopes to correct this when he returns to earth. I am sure there were others in space with similar connections to this country and who may not have formalised them. I seem to remember a Sullivan in recent years and I know that Neil Armstrong still has relatives in Co.Tyrone.

- An Irish student was arrested near Barcelona on Thursday following the bomb blast which killed nine people. He was in the house where two suspected members of the Basque nationalist group ETA were shot dead by Spanish police. There was surprise in his home town of Bandon when it was learned that Denis Ronan, a student at DCU, appeared to be involved with a subversive organisation. As far as his neighbours were concerned he was an exchange student at the University of Barcelona since last September. In the end he appears to have been the unfortunate victim of circumstances and was released without charge on Sunday.

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

- Ryanair became enmeshed in the wrangle over the compulsory transatlantic stop-over at Shannon. The Ryanair chairman Arthur Walls is also chief executive of Clery's department store. In his latter capacity he is one of those who has been campaigning for direct flights between Dublin and the US. Minister for Industry and Commerce Des O'Malley supports the Shannon stop-over and criticised Mr Walls, pointing out that Government protection was required to ensure that Ryanair stayed in business.

- Swansea-Cork Ferries made a profit of £310,000 in 1990. It required a £500,000 grant from the government to do so. Last year the service only operated for five months but this has increased to eight months in 1991. A few sailings were cancelled during the week when the ship developed engine trouble.

- The inquiry into the proposed marina at the Dingle Skellig Hotel concluded on Saturday. The many objectors to the development complained about the loss of 22 acres of public foreshore to a private company, damage to the environment, political chicanery and unnecessary duplication of a service offered by the local harbour board. It is not clear when a ruling will be made.

- Aer Rianta says that it will lose £12m each year if the EC goes ahead with its plan to ban duty-free sales for travellers between member countries.

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

- President Robinson officially opened the restored Drimnagh Castle on the Long Mile Road in Dublin last Sunday. The castle was in a ruinous state five years ago when members of the local community and An Taisce decided to save it. The EC, Bord Failte and the National Heritage Council all contributed towards the work.

- Many influential bodies are behind a new campaign to provide Dublin with a mass transit system that would ease the growing traffic congestion in the city. No particular system is being promoted as it is felt the campaign will be more successful if the Minister for Transport is given a free hand, although tramways, light rail and "guided busways" have been mentioned.

- It became clear during the week that although Cork Corporation had filled the recently discovered archaeological site in the Marsh with rubble, it had lined the medieval stone buildings with polythene to protect them. The corporation has not said what it now plans to do with the site.

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

- Trinity College will celebrate its quatercentenary (that's what TCD call it and they should know!) in 1992. The college is looking to the Government for a "major injection" of capital support in recognition of the occasion.

- TCD remains the most popular choice of university among school leavers. The number giving it as their first choice in their application to the CAO has taken another jump this year.

- The Department of Education has decided that third level colleges will receive funding according to a series of performance indicators. It is thought that these will include student intake, drop out versus completion rate, percentage of honours graduates and job placement rates.

- There appears to be some wrangle over the appointment of an English academic to the post of professor of the history of art at UCD. Sandy Heslop is a lecturer at the University of East Anglia. With a BA degree he appears, on paper, to be less well qualified for the job than the six Irish applicants.

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

- Dublin Group, The Fat Lady Sings, has released a new album called "Twist".

- Gloria Estefan appeared in the Point Depot on Saturday night. This was her first visit to Ireland.

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

- The Irish Museum of Modern Art was opened by the Taoiseach last weekend in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

- The President opened a George Bernard Shaw museum at the writer's birth place in Dublin's Synge Street.

- The 21st Writers' Week in Listowel is in full swing.

- Siamsa Tire, the Tralee folk theatre group, has a new 350-seat theatre. The Irish Times describes the theatre and its related buildings as looking like "an ancient settlement against the background of the Slieve Mish Mountains". The whole development is based on ancient ring forts and is surrounded by a natural stone wall.

> > > > > > > > > BOOKS < < < < < < < < <

- Best sellers list of Irish published books:

1. Apartment 3B - Patricia Scanlan (Poolbeg) 2. A Place of Stones - Deirdre Purcell (Town House) 3. For the Record - Brian Lenihan (Blackwater Press) 4. Out on their Own - Ivor Kenny (Gill and Macmillan) 5. Bio-Energy Healing - Michael O'Doherty and Tom Griffin (O'Brien Press)

Other Irish books, published outside of Ireland, in the best sellers lists are:

Michael Collins - Tim Pat Coogan (Hutchinson) Sinead O'Connor - Dermot Hayes (Omnibus) Amongst Women - John McGahern (Faber) Copyright Irish Books Marketing

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

- The decision by members of Dublin County Council to rezone land at Palmerstown, where a developer plans to build a massive shopping centre, has had its repercussions. Another property company has suspended indefinitely its development of a shopping centre in Blanchardstown. It says that the project is no longer viable as the Palmerstown centre will be two and half times the size of the Square in Tallaght, currently the largest shopping centre in the country. The Blanchardstown developers say they have already spent £8m on site development. I can't see them abandoning that and believe there is some truth in suggestions I can't see them abandoning that and believe there is some truth in suggestions that the company is trying to force the Government into offering urban renewal tax incentives which are available elsewhere.

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

- Captain John Feehan, the founder of the Mercier Press died suddenly in Cork at the age of 74.

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

- This news is a bit late (my fault) but still certainly worth recording. Geraldine and Shane Cahill became the proud parents of a baby boy on May 7th, at 12.47am in Boston. Stuart Donal Cahill weighed in at 7lbs 9 oz. All are doing well.

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

EXCHANGE RATES:

IRISH POUND May 31 May 24

Sterling 0.9070 0.9051

US Dollar 1.5446 1.5671

Deutschmark 2.6752 2.6771

French franc 9.0799 9.0954

Dutch guilder 3.0161 3.0138

Belgian franc 55.04 55.14

Italian lira 1985.58 1990.78

Spanish Peseta 165.69 166.18

Japanese Yen 213.70 216.49

Swiss franc 2.2821 2.2804

Canadian dollar 1.7684 1.8009

Australian dollar 2.0326 2.0620

- Bord Bainne announced that there was a 15% growth in the sales of dairy products last year. Butter sales, here at home, have stabilised after years of decline.

- An announcement that the AIB group is to increase its banking charges did not go down well with its customers, business in general and politicians. The bank maintained that the increases brought its charges into line with other banks and were still only about half those in Britain. Critics accused the bank of damaging industry when times are already hard and of asking Irish customers to compensate for its difficulties overseas. Des O'Malley and Pat Rabbitte (Workers' Party) were unlikely bedfellows in finding fault with the bank. Later in the week the Minister for Finance said that he had asked the Central Bank to look into the matter and was told that the charges were justified and similar to those charged by the other banks.

- The Minister for Industry and Commerce, Des O'Malley, is still not satisfied that the new owners of Classic Meats have no connection with Larry Goodman. It was a condition laid down by the Minister that Mr Goodman dispose of the four Classic Meat plants before he would sanction the acquisition of meat plants in Bandon and Donegal.

- Mairead Sorensen is this year's Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year. In 1978 she and her brother took over the family chocolate business. Since then they have turned the business into a manufacturer of upmarket handmade chocolates. The product is marketed under the name of Butler's Irish Chocolates.

- The Central Bank has warned the Government that, the way the economy is going, it may need to over-borrow by up to £100m this year.

- The Kerry Group has purchased a dry food ingredients company, Dairyland Products Inc of Savage, Minnesota, for $36m.

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

The spell of good weather which I reported last week has continued although temperatures did not reach the same heights. The east and north coasts have not had it quite so good as the rest of the country where temperatures were above 20C for most of the week. The tourist in Galway will surely come back for more at the first possible opportunity. There was a slight change in the weather up here in Inishowen on Sunday morning. Some overnight showers were followed by windier cooler conditions but the sun was back again in the afternoon.

Many parts of the country have had their driest May for 100 years.

Latest Temperatures: Day 13C........................Night 7C

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

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

Ulster Senior Football Championship:

Donegal 2-14 Cavan 0-12

Leinster Senior Football Championship:

Dublin 1-12 Meath 1-12

Connacht Senior Football Championship:

London 2-9 Mayo 6-14

Munster Senior Hurling Championship:

Cork 2-10 Waterford 0-13

- Kaliber has pulled out of its sponsorship arrangement with Dublin County Board after the footballers recently appeared with another company's logo on their strips. Now the county does not have a sponsor and failed to capitalise commercially on yesterday's game against Meath.

- Things are not going at all well for the GAA in Waterford. Early in the week there was a public row between the hurling selectors and the county board. The selectors accused the board of failing to postpone club matches when players were needed by the county. Later the chairman of the county board was suspended for a year by the GAA Management Committee for some alleged breach in amateur rules. A fine of £2,000 was imposed on the county. The manager of the hurling team and the chairman of the finance committee have been called to Croke Park to answer a few questions.

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

Friendly International: USA 1 Ireland 1

- I have only heard the briefest report from the game in Boston. Ireland had the chances to win but the US goalkeeper kept them out. Cascarino was the scorer of Ireland's goal about 15 minutes into the second half. The US equalised later in the game after Denis Irwin was taken off with an injury. Over 50,000 attended the game.

- There were a couple of stories in the run up to the game. One concerned Galway United's captain, Johnny Glynn. He was in Boston on holiday and called at the team's hotel to ask them to attend some function or other. The only one he knew was Packie Bonner but while he was at the hotel he met Jack Charlton, whom he impressed in the recent cup final. Charlton invited him to join the squad for training and asked him to sit on the bench during the game. There was a chance that he might actually be brought on as a substitute but I don't know if that happened. The other story was of a Belfastman who has been playing his soccer in the US for the last ten years. He was chosen as a member of the US squad but again I don't know if he actually played.

- Frank Stapleton says he will apply for the job of manager at Celtic. Billy McNeill was sacked from the job ten days ago.

- St Patrick's Athletic are in serious financial difficulties and there seems to be some doubt about the future of the club. I didn't have time to read the details.

- Former Irish International Jim Beglin has had to retire from the game following the injury he sustained while playing for Liverpool against Everton back in 1986. For a time it was thought that he had made a recovery and was transferred to Leeds. He was later loaned to Blackburn but has now decided to call it a day.

- It's all change at Derry City these days under new manager Roy Coyle. A number of players have left or are leaving although that is mostly for personal reasons. His first signing is Paul Mooney of Linfield.

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

- TENNIS: A series of satellite tournaments sponsored by Heinz is taking place around the country. The competition is attracting international players although not of the calibre associated with the major competitions. Irish American Derek Farren was the surprise winner of the Cork event. He was unseeded but beat the number one seed from Sweden before going on to defeat an English player in the final. Things did not go so well for him and the other Irish players in the next tournament in Galway.

- HORSE RACING: I have a blind spot as far as horse racing is concerned and it required a reader to point out that last Saturday was a momentous day in Irish racing. For the first time ever a US-trained horse won a European Classic. Fourstars Allstars is trained in New York and came over here to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas. In doing so it defeated the favourite Lyceus, runner-up in the English 2,000 Guineas. The winning horse is trained by Irishman Leo O'Brien and owned by Richard Bomze, a sports reporter.

I noticed some sort of a ruckus at a race meeting at Kilbeggan on Monday night. Two of the leading horses started to behave rather strangely and as far as I know were withdrawn. One was described as being "drunk". The trainers of the horse were quite upset and asked for an investigation. Initial tests have failed to show any traces of drugs.

- GOLF: Eamonn Darcy finished one stroke behind the joint leaders in the Volvo PGA at Wentworth on Monday. Seve Ballesteros won the tournament in a play-off against Colin Montgomerie. Darcy collected Stg£31,300 in prize money.

There was no stopping Ballesteros at the Dunhill Masters this weekend. He built up a commanding lead over the early rounds. Darcy was in second place after three rounds but was seven strokes adrift. He did have a cushion of two over the third place competitors. This wasn't good enough and he needed birdies at the last two holes to retain a share of runners up prize money. I am not sure how much he actually won for that but he had two good pay days in the space of a week.

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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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