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The Irish Emigrant - May 18, 1992 | Print |  Email
Monday, 21 May 2007
Bishop Casey admitted paternity and Annie Murphy became a household name; much was said about Maastricht and abortion; Northern talks ran into trouble; Britain's Parachute Regiment was accused of going on the rampage in Coalisland; and in Britain an English woman was released having serving 18 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of an IRA bombing.

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May 18, 1992 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.276

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Editor: Liam Ferrie.................................Circulation: 1,150

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It was Thursday before Bishop Eamonn Casey's name disappeared from the front page of the Irish Times. By then he had issued a statement admitting that he was the father of Peter Murphy and had explained the source of the money paid to Annie Murphy. While he was not mentioned on the front page, coverage remained extensive on the inside.

There was plenty of talk, if few developments, on the debates about Maastricht and abortion. The Northern talks received greater attention but this was because someone leaked the proposals made by the SDLP. It is unlikely that the disclosure came from that party but it caused consternation and there was a suggestion that the future of the talks was in jeopardy. Also in the North the Parachute Regiment was again at the centre of controversy. After one of its members was seriously injured in an explosion, there was an allegation that troops went on the rampage in Coalisland. Last night saw further trouble in the town.

Three days of talks failed to find a settlement to the postal dispute and fewer letters than ever are being dealt with. The other major story of the week was the decision of the Court of Appeal in London to release Judith Ward, after she had spent 18 years in prison following a wrongful conviction for the M62 coach bombing.

This week's good news is the weather. We are basking in glorious sunshine and are promised more.

BISHOP CASEY ADMITS PATERNITY

Late on Monday night Bishop Casey issued a statement in which he acknowledged that he was the father of Peter Murphy and that he had grievously wronged Peter and his mother, Annie Murphy. He said that he had "sinned grievously against God, His Church and the clergy and people of the dioceses of Galway and Kerry". The statement explained that contributions to his son's maintenance came from his own resources, except for a payment of £70,669 which was made in 1990. This, he said, was taken from a diocesan reserve account and was described as a loan to a third party. No one else was aware of the true nature of the transaction. He went on to say that it was always his intention to repay the money and that since his resignation the amount has been repaid in full, with interest. The Bishop concluded by asking for time and space to reflect on how he could best serve God and his people, "especially Peter and Annie", in his new situation.

The statement was released from the Diocesan Office here in Galway. The general reaction was one of relief that Bishop Casey had cleared the air although there was disappointment that church funds had been used in this way. The fact that there was an entry in the books, which would eventually have to be accounted for and that the money had been repaid, tempered this disappointment.

There is still no indication of Bishop Casey's current whereabouts. New Jersey, Santiago and the West Coast of the US have all been mentioned. One suspects that the media is trying to hunt him down but the vast majority would respect his wish that he be left alone.

BISHOP CASEY - THE FALL-OUT

  • I had so much to cover on this story last week that I did not cover the hierarchy's reaction. Actually in the first day or two there was little comment from the Bishops. They seemed to be shell-shocked. Cardinal Daly was in London when the news broke and was reluctant to comment until he returned to Ireland. Archbishop Cassidy of Tuam talked of his "deep sorrow". Later when he learned more of the facts he showed equal concern for all three people at the centre of the controversy and for their families. Generally the bishops reacted with total shock and amazement, tempered with forgiveness and understanding. I don't think any of them would support his decision to remain in office for the last seventeen years. When pressed, one said that he should probably have left the priesthood to become a proper father to his son.

  • We learned this week that most of the bishops first heard about Bishop Casey's difficulties on the radio, like the rest of us. Bishop Comiskey of Ferns was aware of Dr Casey's intention to resign and had arranged meetings for him in the Vatican. He was not given any reason for the decision but was pledged to secrecy. When Bishop Comiskey was sure that the resignation was imminent he tried to contact other bishops, including the Cardinal. The Papal Nuncio in Dublin appears to have learned some of the details just a few days before the resignation.

  • Priests in the Diocese of Galway were kept equally in the dark. Bishop Casey called a meeting of the senior priests of the diocese a few hours before the news became public. He stated simply that he had tendered his resignation, that it had been accepted, and that his decision was prompted by personal reasons. He finished by saying "I am no longer your bishop" and left the room.

  • Much has been made in this country of the level of publicity the case has received in the US, and the frequency with which Annie Murphy appears on television there. There is talk of her coming here to be interviewed on television although Pat Kenny tried to get her on his programme, Kenny Live, but was turned down.

  • Dr Michael Murphy, the Bishop of Cork and Ross, was appointed interim chairman of Trocaire in succession to Bishop Casey. Eighteen years ago, Dr Casey was a co-founder of Trocaire which has become the largest Third World charity in this country.

  • I saw a couple of tasteless cartoons relating to the affair and felt that Martyn Turner's effort in Tuesday's Irish Times was more balanced. He depicted a mother and two impoverished offspring standing on parched land, under a blazing African sun. The caption read, "If only we would still be as shocked over the other children Bishop Casey has been helping to support down the years....".

  • The "Letters to the Editor" page of the Irish Times has taken on a new focus since the Bishop's resignation. Letters on this subject now outnumber those on abortion. They fall far short, however, of the peak reached following the Court hearings in relation to the 14-year-old alleged rape victim.

  • Lots of things are being said which have little foundation. For example a number of priests and nuns are supposed to have been aware of the situation for the last seventeen years, although it seems certain that Bishop Casey did not confide in anyone. There were also accusations that an elderly lady had left the Bishop £250k for charitable purposes and that this could not be accounted for. It was later explained that lawyers are still trying to settle the estate and so far have only released £160,000 to the Diocese of Galway. This amount is frozen in a bank account until all claims against the estate have been satisfied.

  • Monsignor McLoughlin, as Galway Diocesan Administrator, held a meeting of all the priests in the diocese on Tuesday. This resulted in a letter being read at all Masses on Sunday. While it was pointed out that Dr Casey's actions could not be condoned, we were asked to forgive him. We were also reminded of the wrong that was done to Annie Murphy and her son Peter.

  • Somewhere in the media it said that Bishop Casey's wish to work on the missions will not be granted until be has undertaken some penance. The implication was that he would be required to retire to a monastery for a protracted period. Of course this may be another of the many cases of conjecture becoming "fact" in a very brief period.

  • The story has opened the debate about the rights and wrongs of celibacy. The debate of course is more in the media than in the church, although a few priests and nuns have participated. A number of articles were written by former priests. Comments by the dissident Larne priest, Fr Pat Buckley, were widely reported.

NEW PARATROOP CONTROVERSY

On Tuesday a member of the paratroop regiment was seriously injured by what the IRA described as an anti-personnel device. It seems that he stepped on some sort of a land-mine in the village of Cappagh, Co.Tyrone. He has since had both legs amputated.

Last week I decided against including an appeal from Fr Denis Faul that the Parachute Regiment be withdrawn from the North. He claimed its members were being abusive to the nationalist population and as a result were aiding the IRA. He described the regiment as a combat unit, totally unsuitable for duty in the North. Within two hours of the above attack in Cappagh it is alleged that a group of paratroopers rampaged through Coalisland, ten miles away. Members of the public were hit with long sticks and, in at least one bar, tables were overturned and glasses knocked to the floor. A number of cars were also damaged. An SDLP politician claimed that the army fabricated a bomb scare so that a section of the town could be cordoned off. Initially the RUC said that a joint army and police patrol had been attacked by a stone-throwing crowd, but a lieutenant of the regiment was subsequently suspended from duty. Fr Faul was furious when interviewed about the affair. He felt that the officer was being made a scapegoat and that the real culprit was the GOC, who refused to take advice on the suitability of the troops. Unionist MP Ken Maginnis is also said to have asked for the withdrawal of the regiment. He says he has received more complaints about their behaviour in the last two to three weeks than he has received in the previous nine years.

There was more trouble in Coalisland last night. It seemed to start when an army foot patrol was attacked by a gang of youths, and a rifle and a machine-gun stolen. Two soldiers, members of a Scottish regiment, were taken to hospital. Apparently this was the first time troops had been used in the town since Tuesday's incident. The rifle was quickly recovered but the entire town has been cordoned off as the search for the machine-gun goes on. Reinforcements were brought in, and about an hour after the first incident paratroopers shot three people in the legs. The RUC said that this happened when the soldiers were being attacked by a hostile crowd. The BBC carried an interview with an eye-witness who gave an entirely different account. He claimed that the troops rushed into a bar shouting "We're back! We're back!". The bar-owner went outside to remonstrate with one of the soldiers and was shot in the leg and brushed aside. The eye-witness also claimed that a customer was shot while seated at a table.

REFERENDUM DEBATE

  • An MRBI opinion poll in the Irish Times confirms the findings of two previous polls in relation to the Treaty on European Union. 57% of those questioned said they would be voting "Yes", 11% favoured a "No" vote and the remainder were undecided.

  • The Irish Times believes that Michael D. Higgins will break rank with his Labour Party colleagues and campaign for a "No" vote in the referendum.

  • We are all supposed to get an explanatory booklet on European Union prior to the referendum. It's not clear what will happen to it if the postal strike is not settled. The booklet accounts for most of the £500k which has been spent on the referendum to date.

  • When the legislation for the referendum was put to the vote in the Seanad, Fianna Fail Senator Des Hanafin voted against and will probably be expelled from the Fianna Fail parliamentary party. It was expected that there would be insufficient opposition to the Bill to create the need for a vote but the number was reached when independent Senator Pol O Foighil joined in the call for the matter to be voted upon. Senator O Foighil then abstained. Senator Hanafin is chairman of the Pro-Life movement and believes that the Treaty will affect the current ban on abortion.

ABORTION DEBATE

  • The MBRI/Irish Times opinion poll showed 19% of respondents totally against abortion in any circumstance. A further 18% thought it should be available when the mother's life was in danger and 46% in special circumstances such as rape and incest. 16% would have abortion available without restriction and only 1% did not have an opinion.

  • The Labour Party introduced a Bill to amend the Constitution and guarantee the right to travel and freedom to information about abortion. The Government said that, while it agreed with the objectives of the Bill, it believed that various questions on abortion, raised by the Supreme Court, had to be dealt with in their entirety. The Bill was defeated although it had the support of Fine Gael.

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

  • The closure of a large number of sub-post offices looks inevitable according to a consultant's report on the the desk of the Minister for Communications. You might remember that last year there was uproar when An Post announced plans to close 550 sub-post offices. The then Minister, Seamus Brennan, did what all good politicians do and played for time. He commissioned an independent study on the implications of the proposals. This study is now complete and it agrees with An Post's cost cutting measures. Mr Brennan has moved and his successor, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, now has the unenviable task of accepting or rejecting the recommendations. An Post's plan to install 200,000 mail boxes, where houses are not adjacent to public roads, was also largely accepted. The consultants suggest that an alternative method be found for delivering social welfare payments to those in rural areas affected by the closure of sub-post offices.

  • A Scottish fishing vessel sank ten miles east of Helvick, Co.Waterford early on Monday. The crew of three were rescued. The incident is being investigated by the Department of the Marine.

  • On Tuesday several hundred thousand "pirate" video tapes and about 100 video recorders were recovered in a series of raids by Gardai. Some pornographic films were included in the haul. It was claimed that the confiscated goods belonged to criminal and subversive organisations, including the IRA. There was a hint that the raids, which took place in counties Cavan, Monaghan, Louth, Meath and Dublin, were a follow on from the security forces' operation north of the border a few days earlier. In a statement on Wednesday the IRA claimed that it was not in any way involved with the tapes,

  • Several countries are investigating a possible multi-million pound fraud involving Irish beef. Last year the EC authorised the supply of 40,000 tonnes of Irish intervention beef to the former Soviet Union. Most of the beef was to be canned in Italy. High quality beef, which is thought to be of Irish origin, has recently arrived in the UK, apparently from Italy. There is a suspicion that the beef which left Ireland was substituted, and inferior beef sent to the former USSR. There is no suggestion that this country was in any way involved and the Mafia is being blamed by the media.

  • The board of the Adelaide Hospital is extremely unhappy with the current level of state funding and the role it will be given when the Adelaide is amalgamated with other hospitals and replaced by the proposed Tallaght Hospital. A spokesman said that there are forces opposed to the Adelaide's Protestant ethos. The Minister for Health, Dr John O'Connell, who trained at the Adelaide, was quick to refute the allegations.

  • The Church of Ireland General Synod, which takes place in Dublin this week, is expected to hear a proposal that divorcees be allowed to remarry in Church.

  • It is some weeks now since we heard that the DPP had been presented with a file on the case of the 14-year-old alleged rape victim, but charges have still to be preferred.

  • An Post issued four stamps to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus stumbling across the American continent. Of course you will have to wait another while before you see them.

  • PDFORRA, the body which represents the interests of members of the Defence Forces, held its first annual conference in Galway during the week. Complaints were made about pay, long hours of border duty without additional reward, lack of adequate weatherproof clothing, the quality of army housing, and participation in Church parades.

  • The Government used the Finance Bill to order the VHI to hand over £3m pound to state coffers. The "logic" was that the Department of Health had a serious shortfall and the VHI had a surplus. Only members of the Government seemed to think that this was a good idea.

  • The Taoiseach says that he expects the economy to grow by 3% this year. This is 1% higher than forecast in the budget. Mr Reynolds is of the opinion that the worst of the recession is over.

  • Gardai found three 40-gallon drums containing arms and ammunition on a farm near Castlecomer, Co.Kilkenny. A man has been charged in connection with the discovery.

  • Saturday was Irish AIDS Day. This gave rise to a number of articles in the papers, the raising of money for victims, and efforts to increase awareness of the illness.

  • Three teenage youths were killed when two motor-cycles crashed head on near Askeaton in Co.Limerick on Saturday night.

NATIONAL LOTTERY Winning Numbers:

  • Wed: 13, 14, 17, 24, 25, 34 - one winner collected the jackpot of £389k.
  • Sat: 2, 9, 28, 30, 33, 35 - jackpot of £497k was not won.

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

  • Seamus Mallon was highly critical of the security forces' operation in south Armagh and south Down which was claimed to be aimed at illegal IRA fund-raising activity. No arrests were made but documents and computer equipment were seized during the many raids on business premises ten days ago. Mr Mallon said that the reputations of many law-abiding business people were tainted by subsequent RUC statements. Later in the week the RUC carried out further raids which led to a number of arrests and the discovery of 1,600 pornographic video tapes.

  • The SDLP's submission to the talks process in the North became public knowledge on Wednesday and caused quite a stir. It called for a six member executive, three to be elected by proportional representation and three appointees, from the British Government, the Irish Government and the EC, respectively. Both the leaking of the document and its contents upset the Unionist groupings. The Northern Secretary and one of his junior ministers also expressed deep concern at the breach in the agreed confidentiality. I think most people were like me and assumed that someone in the SDLP was responsible. However, at that stage all the parties to the talks were aware of the contents of each other's submissions. It is being hinted in the media that it was the work of the Ulster Unionists. Talks between Sir Peter Mayhew and the various parties appear to have eliminated any risk of an early breakdown the talks process.

  • A Catholic building worker was shot several times in the chest and legs by UVF gunmen on Wednesday. In admitting responsibility, the UVF named a different man and it is thought that someone else was the intended victim. Fortunately the man's condition was described as "not serious".

  • Stewarts, a leading supermarket chain in the North, has withdrawn all liver products from sale, following claims that traces of the animal growth promoter, clenbuterol, had been found in a sample of liver. The allegations were made on a television programme and related to liver from Dungannon Meats. The Department of Agriculture stated that the amount found did not constitute a health hazard.

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

  • The case of the Armagh Four opened in the Appeal Court in Belfast on Monday. In 1986 four UDR soldiers were convicted of killing a Catholic in Armagh City three years earlier. This is a second appeal and the case is being likened to the Guildford Four and others. The court heard claims that police lied at the original hearing, that confessions were the result of bullying, shouting and abusive behaviour by RUC officers, that police notes were rewritten and that a statement alleged to have been made by one of the four was in fact the work of a number of people. Opposing the appeal the Lord Chief Justice questioned the innocence of a man who confessed to murder within hours of his arrest. The hearing continues.

  • Some of you may remember when a small plane, belonging to the Dublin charter company, Flightline, crashed near Eastbourne in the South of England, in 1984. Nine people died in the accident. The High Court in Dublin has now awarded £220,000 damages against Flightline, to the family of one of the victims. In 1989 the same family won a case against the US manufacturers of the plane and was awarded $400,000. The twin-engined aircraft disintegrated in mid-air but, as far as I can remember, no definite cause for the accident was ever established.

  • Michael McLoughlin (23) of Strand Road, Bray was convicted of the murder of Gillian Bishop (18) in the town last November. He was jailed for life. The two met at a Hallowe'en disco and Ms Bishop's body was found the following morning. She died from asphyxia and a £1 coin was found in her throat. McLoughlin said that he pushed the coin down her throat when she started to scream after they had a row.

  • The Beef Tribunal continues to hear evidence and receive media coverage. This week the focus was on the export of beef to Iraq and the influence Larry Goodman appeared to be able to exert over Government officials, including the Ambassador to Iraq.

> > > > EMPLOYMENT & INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS < < < < <

  • Talks between both sides in the postal dispute took place at the Labour Relations Commission but broke down on Wednesday evening, after three days. At that point the union claimed to have offered a compromise in that it would accept temporary positions for one-third of the new staff, but that the balance would have to be hired as full-time permanent employees. An Post described this approach as financial suicide, saying that redundancy payments would be given to the same staff within six months. Despite the talks a further 600 staff were suspended from duty on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,300. The union went to the High Court over the failure of An Post to pay Dublin staff, following the suspension of payroll clerks. Judgement has been reserved until today. The dispute has now been running for three weeks and no further talks are planned. Mail is reduced to a trickle. The Irish Times is forecasting that the resultant drop in income will lead to protective notice being given to the workforce.

  • The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Employment met for the first time on Tuesday with Fine Gael still refusing to participate.

  • The Heinz company announced plans to open a plant in Dundalk. 300 people will eventually be employed in the preparation of frozen and chilled ingredients for pizzas.

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

  • The above mentioned MRBI/Irish Times opinion poll also questioned people about their voting intentions in the event of a general election. This gave encouragement to the PDs who saw their popularity jump from 4% to 9%. It was pointed out that the survey was taken immediately after the PDs' annual conference and that this may account for the increase. Fianna Fail should still be reasonably content on 51%, although this was a two point decline since the previous MRBI poll. Fine Gael also dropped two points, to 21%, while Labour support increased one point to 13%. The PDs made most of their gains in the Dublin area, where support jumped from 2% to 12%. The big losers in Dublin were FG and Labour on 16% and 12% respectively. The same poll also attempted to gauge the satisfaction rating with each of the party leaders. Albert Reynolds' confidence received a boost with a three point rise to 63%. Dick Spring was down three to 64%, Des O'Malley down one to 56% and John Bruton down five to 33%.

  • The above was disappointing news for John Bruton as Fine Gael gathered for its annual conference on Friday. The conference closed on Saturday evening and had none of the razzmatazz of last year's event which caused so much controversy. In his address to the faithful on Saturday evening, John Bruton again proved that any party in opposition has all the solutions to the country's ills. It is his goal to become the largest party in the Dail but I read during the week that Dick Spring foresees the demise of Fine Gael with Labour becoming the main alternative to Fianna Fail. I should remind you that the annual conferences of the main political parties receive massive media attention but that it is my policy to ignore most of what is said at them.

  • Allegations that Albert Reynolds had been driving an untaxed car prior to becoming Taoiseach led to heated exchanges between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail politicians in the Dail. Mr Reynolds was widely photographed in a new Jaguar in November, after he lost his ministerial car. The car was later seen on television with a 1992 registration plate. The Minister for the Environment supplied what seemed like a fairly innocent explanation. Mr Reynolds, it seems, took the car for a test drive in November at the behest of the supplier. The car was then garaged until early January. In the meantime he used a car which was hired from a company in Mullingar.

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

  • I am not sure that Judith Ward has any real connection with this country but her case has generated considerable interest here. Her release by the Appeal Court in London would have been the major story in Tuesday's papers had Bishop Casey's statement not been issued the previous night. Ms Ward spent the last 18 years in prison following her conviction for the IRA bombing of a coach carrying soldiers and their families on the M62 motorway. Twelve people died in the attack. During the first five days of the hearing the court heard that Ms Ward lived in a fantasy world and that she was mentally unstable when she confessed to the crime. The judges agreed with this and released her on bail pending the remainder of the hearing. Counsel for Ms Ward had still to argue that vital evidence was withheld and that the forensic evidence was unreliable. It was supplied by Frank Skuse of Birmingham Six infamy, using the same discredited tests.

  • President Robinson will make a formal state visit to France, starting on May 25. The first two days will be spent in Paris. She will then travel to Lyons and Montpelier where she will be conferred with an honorary doctorate of law.

  • Three Irish people, who have been in custody in Paris since 1989, were each sentenced to two years in prison, after they were convicted on terrorist charges. Although they have been in custody for almost three years they were not released. All three were later extradited to Germany. Patrick Murray (48), Donagh O'Kane (31) and Pauline Drumm (25) now face a number of charges, including murder.

  • Tony O'Reilly featured prominently in last week's Sunday Tribune because Business Week described him as the most overpaid executive in the US. We were told that Heinz paid him $75m last year. I think it was the same edition of Business Week which listed the two top paid executives in major US companies. Tony O'Reilly wasn't the only Irishman in the list but I have no intention of revealing the salary of a reader of this newsletter.

  • Cardinal Daly was one of nine world figures scheduled to be conferred with honorary degrees at Notre Dame University yesterday. Less than two weeks ago he contacted the university to say that he would be unable to attend as he had a pressing need to be in Ireland. A spokesman for the Cardinal said that the decision was not related to the protest by Cardinals O'Connor and Law against Senator Daniel Moynihan being honoured at the same ceremony, and had nothing to do with Bishop Casey's resignation.

  • The Irish Times carried a feature on Monsignor James Kelly, the lawyer who acted for Bishop Casey. He is known as Father Kelly in his parish of St Brigid, in what is described as a very rough part of Brooklyn. Like Dr Casey he is a native of Adare, Co.Limerick, although some years younger. Fr Kelly passed his bar exams in 1980 after seeing the need to represent the homeless, the drug addicts and other poor sections of the community in which he lives. To meet the needs of his parishioners he has become fluent in Spanish and Italian.

  • According to John Maguire of the Irish Times many of the young Irish people who went to work at Euro Disney outside Paris have become disillusioned. Low wages and the lack of reasonably priced accommodation are said to be the main problems. Some have walked out and found other work in Paris.

> > > > > > > > TRAVEL & TOURISM < < < < < < < < <

  • I wonder will Aer Lingus learn any lessons from the following story. The airline recently advertised a round-trip fare of $299 from New York to Shannon ($30 extra to Dublin) for a flight departing May 25th and returning June 2nd. However the flight was announced on May 4 and was sold out by the morning of May 6. Apparently it was a leased plane and Aer Lingus did not want to fly it back to Ireland empty.

> > > > CONSERVATION & THE ENVIRONMENT < < < < <

  • Two mining companies, which have been involved in exploration work in Co.Mayo, are appealing to the High Court to declare that Mayo County Council should not have added a policy to the county development plan, banning all mining in the area.

  • The European Commission wants to increase the price of petrol by about 4p a gallon in all EC countries. This will take the form of a tax on all non-renewable energy sources, and is aimed at reducing emissions which are contributing towards global warming. Large energy users and industries facing intense international competition will be exempt. The proposal has still to be agreed by the twelve member states.

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

  • Trinity College spent the week celebrating its 400th anniversary. The week was opened by President Robinson who pointed out that as the college was founded by a women head of state it was only appropriate that a woman head of state should launch the anniversary festivities. She refused to dwell on the status of women at the college in the intervening 400 years. After the speeches there was a fireworks display and music by Handel played by the Army. There was much pageantry in other events during the week. On Thursday, Mahler's "Symphony of a Thousand" was performed for the first time in Ireland. 960 singers and 150 musicians gathered for the occasion in the Point Theatre, and were heard by an audience of 6,000 on that evening and again on Friday. Friday was also the occasion of the famous Trinity Ball although the festivities continued until Saturday. I think it was 11,000 thousand tickets at £60 each which were sold for that event.

  • All the remaining staff members of Carysfort College have now accepted new postings or redundancy terms. The cost of paying them for being idle, since the closure of the college in 1988, totalled £2.1m.

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

  • The Guns 'n' Roses concert passed off relatively peacefully at Slane Castle in bright sunshine on Saturday. There were 45 arrests among the estimated 50,000 attendance. Some residents of the village of Slane are most unhappy at having such monster concerts on their doorstep, and there were complaints about the £250k cost of having a massive garda presence in the area.

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

  • "Belling the Cat: Selected Speeches and Articles of John Kelly" has been receiving good reviews. It is edited by John Fanagan and published by Moytura Press (in association with Fine Gael) at £5.

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

  • The death has taken place of F.E. McWilliams, who was described as "the foremost Irish sculptor of his generation". F.E. McWilliams was born in Banbridge in 1909 but, after studying at the Slade School in London, lived most of his life in England. His work has been acquired by many famous museums around the world.

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

  • Taoiseach Albert Reynolds visited the Galway plant on Friday afternoon. He was there for the announcement of a major contract between Digital and Quinnsworth for the provision of computer equipment to the supermarket chain.

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

EXCHANGE RATES:

..................IRISH POUND........ May 15....May 8

..................Sterling............0.9108.. 0.9073

..................US Dollar.......... 1.6609.. 1.6227

..................Deutschmark........ 2.6717.. 2.6718

..................French franc........8.9704.. 8.9860

..................Dutch guilder...... 3.0077.. 3.0073

..................Belgian franc........54.98....55.00

..................Italian lira...... 2010.34..2009.88

..................Spanish Peseta......166.89.. 167.06

..................Japanese Yen........215.49.. 216.39

..................Swiss franc........ 2.4498.. 2.4835

..................Canadian dollar.... 1.9969.. 1.9459

..................Australian dollar.. 2.1909.. 2.1564

  • Marks and Spencer experienced a 20% increase in sales in this country in the year to the end of March.

  • A 4% increase in pre-tax profits at AIB in the year to the end of March was considered satisfactory. Profits grew at home and in the US but there was a sharp decline in the UK. There, the previous year's loss of £4.9m increased almost ten fold to £47m.

  • The Bank of Ireland also showed an increase in profits but these are still only at half the peak level of 1990. Pre-tax profits for the year to the end of March rose from £53.5m to £76.8m. Profits at home were healthy at £131.9m but substantial losses were incurred in the US and in Britain. These increased slightly in the US and were more than halved in the UK.

  • The Barlo Group of Clonmel has launched a hostile takeover bid for IRG, which makes ropes and wire fencing in Newbridge. Merger talks between the two companies broke down before the bid was made. Barlo has a 29.2% stake in IRG and is expected to be successful in its takeover attempt.

  • RTE has sold two-thirds of its 50% stake in Atlantic 252 to its Luxembourg-based partners in the venture. This is the station which broadcasts pop music into the UK from a long-wave transmitter in Co.Meath.

  • Details of the GPA share flotation were issued at the same time as the company's annual results. Pre-tax profits fell by £2m but after-tax profits rose 2% to £268m. Existing shares have been split in a two for one exercise and 56 million new shares will be on offer at a price between $10 and $12.50.

  • Aer Rianta is the 1991 winner of the Irish Times/PA Management Award.

  • Martin Rafferty, chairman of United Drug, will succeed Joe McCabe as chairman of the IDA when Mr McCabe retires at the end of June.

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

It rained at some time each day until Thursday but the showers became more infrequent and the temperatures rose, so that by Wednesday we could believe that summer was finally coming. Come it did and the weekend was just perfect with bright sunshine, high temperatures, cloudless skies, and sunburn for anyone who spent time on the golf course. Again we had strong winds at various times throughout the week but nobody remembers that now.

Donegal's unwarranted reputation for being cold took a knock on Thursday. Malin Head was the warmest place in the country with the temperature reaching 21.8C, a full eight degrees higher than that recorded at Cork Airport. At that point the east and north of the country were getting the best of the weather. Over the weekend, coastal areas on the east and south were about eight degrees below the rest of the country. Sunday's highest temperature was 24%, recorded at Belmullet.

Latest temperatures: Day 23C........................Night 11C

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

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

Ulster Senior Football Championship:

........Derry 1-10..........Tyrone 1-7

Munster Senior Football Championship:

........Tipperary 2-13......Waterford 0-13

  • This time it was agreed that Derry deserved their win over Tyrone, unlike the recent National League Final. Derry were actually coasting home, having largely dominated the second half, when a final flurry from Tyrone added a couple of late points.

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

  • Ireland's tour of New Zealand got off to a mediocre start with a 21-16 win over South Canterbury, considered the weakest side they will face. On Saturday the Irish took a bit of a drubbing against Canterbury and the score finished 38-13. Richard Wallace had his jaw broken, allegedly from a punch. New Zealand-born Damien O'Brien, who plays for Clontarf, flies out as his replacement.

  • The All-Ireland League will be expanded from the 1993-94 season with two new divisions. This means that a place will be found for all 47 senior clubs in the country. There will be eleven clubs in each of the two top divisions. Division three will have thirteen, leaving twelve in Division four.

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

GOLF: The poor form of Irish golfers this season continues. Ronan Rafferty did have some early success but I don't know where he is this week. Eamon Darcy finished in joint eighth place in the Spanish open. John McHenry started out well but lost momentum and finished seven behind Darcy and 14 behind the winner.

CYCLING: Stephen Roche maintained his eighth position in the Tour of Spain for a number of days and then started to slip. When the race finished yesterday he was 15th overall and 22 minutes 40 seconds behind winner Tony Rominger.

Stephen Spratt of Dublin won the FBD Milk Ras which took place over the entire week. He lost the lead to an Italian in the penultimate stage and managed to recover it in Sunday's criterium stage in Dun Laoghaire. Some questions were asked about the manner of his win as his Italian challenger was boxed in and could not join the group which broke away with Spratt. Six Irish riders were penalised for unsporting behaviour after a protest from the Italian team at the end of the race.

GRAND-PRIX RACING: The Jordan team had its best finish of the season when Mauricio Gugelmin finished seventh in the San Remo Grand Prix. Gear box trouble forced the retirement of Stefano Modena after 27 laps.

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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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