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15 Years Ago
The Irish Emigrant - January 14, 1991

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January 14, 1991 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.206

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Editor: Liam Ferrie Circulation: 838

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The Gulf Crisis, of course, received extensive coverage in the week's papers. It was only on Monday that it did not capture the main headlines. The fourteen deaths in last weekend's storm received most attention that day. Pictures of the damage caused by the storm were still prominent in Tuesday's papers. The weather continued to make news. On Wednesday and Thursday the Irish Times carried photographs of snow scenes. Friday's weather photograph showed a father and son going along a Co.Cavan road, by boat!

Talks on a new Programme for Social and Economic Development continued throughout the week and were never far from the headlines. The trial of five Irishmen in France received a fair bit of publicity on most days. These were the people arrested when the gun-running ship, Eksund, was impounded in French waters while on its way from Libya to Ireland. British Airways announced that it plans to end its services to Ireland. This did get reported but did not receive quite the level of attention which I expected.

The week finished with the news bulletins concentrating on the violent events taking place in Lithuania but not ignoring the threat to world peace coming from the Middle East.

CLEARING UP

Monday was the day to review the extent of the damage caused by last Saturday's storm. While, as reported last week, the greatest loss of life was in Co.Galway, Achill Island appeared to suffer the greatest damage. The main pier was wrecked, some boats were sunk and others thrown up on to the beach, and the building which houses the local sub-aqua club was destroyed.

Right around the Donegal coast there were reports of boats being lost or damaged and many holiday caravans were wrecked. Aranmore Island took the brunt of the storm. Houses were damaged by waves, and roads were blocked by huge boulders washed up by the sea.

The people of Strandhill, Co.Sligo, took precautions and it seems to have paid off. Damage was not extensive but there was still a plea for action to be taken before the resort is washed away. Five caravans were badly damaged in Enniscrone.

Galway's problems were well covered last week so I'll move on down to Clare where there were reports of damage in Ballyvaughan, Doolin, Lahinch, Spanish Point and Kilkee. In the latter town a car was washed out to sea and it was claimed that 75% of houses were damaged. Things were not so bad in Kerry but two classrooms of the Presentation secondary school in Dingle were blown away and two boats sank while others were damaged.

In all, the insurance companies believe that the total value of claims arising from this storm will not exceed £25m. There were calls for Government assistance, from those in areas suffering the greatest damage. Minister for the Environment, Padraig Flynn, promised that this would be forthcoming for bridges, roads, piers and other infrastructural repairs. I presume he expects damage to boats, houses and cars to be covered by insurance.

MORE WEATHER PROBLEMS

The heavy rain of the last few weeks has left a number of areas badly flooded. Rural areas in north Co.Galway and around Athlone seem to be the most badly affected. We witnessed television pictures of mothers in "wellies" taking children home from school "piggy back" style with the dog swimming along behind. Farmers had to use waders to take bales of hay from the barn to the byre. Tractors are the only vehicles able to travel on many country roads. Government assistance was being sought here also and there were demands that the Minister for Agriculture, Michael O'Kennedy, tour the area on a tractor (rather than a helicopter). The Minister said that he was not going to get on the back of a tractor just for the benefit of television cameras but agreed that compensation would probably be made for the loss of stock and fodder.

It wasn't until later in the week that the plight of about fifty families in north-west Cavan came to our attention. Some houses have been cut off since St Stephen's Day and cars are parked two miles away. It is estimated that 100,000 acres are flooded in the area around Belturbet.

After the wind and rain all we needed was a blizzard. That came early on Tuesday afternoon. The worst of it passed through Munster and into Leinster. By evening, roads were blocked all over the place and Dublin was at a standstill. We were OK here in Galway but an overnight snow fall changed that. By the following morning it seems that the only part of the country to escape the snow was the extreme south-west. I had plans to fly to Scotland that morning and assumed they would have to be abandoned. However, a snowplough cleared the runway and our plane was able to land and take off with little difficulty. I have to say that the country looked magnificent with the enormous expanse of white interrupted by hedges, lakes and forests. Coming back 36 hours later, I travelled by train from Dublin and it wasn't until we were close to Galway that the snow disappeared.

PROTRACTED NEGOTIATIONS

Attempts to reach agreement between unions and employers, as part of the talks on a new Programme for Social and Economic Development, continued throughout the week and only adjourned late on Saturday night. They will resume today with some hope that agreement is in sight. The unions have been looking for a 4.5% pay increase per year for the next three years, as well as a further 4% to be negotiated locally. Employers would only concede 2.5% per year and 1.5% locally. Latest indications are that the employers side had improved its offer.

Although there is no confirmation yet, it is understood that the Government and unions have reached an understanding on taxation and social welfare. Farm leaders also had a part to play in the overall negotiations but they walked out, saying that progress was not being made. From the coverage this walkout received I don't think their absence was noticed.

IRELAND AND THE GULF CRISIS

- The last member of the staff at the Irish embassy in Baghdad left for Amman on Thursday.

- Irish troops serving with the UN in Iraq have been evacuated to Cyprus. The families of other Irish officers on UN duty in the Middle East have been moved to Cyprus from Damascus, Cairo and Israel.

- Archbishop Desmond Connell of Dublin suggested that the wealth dedicated to the crisis in the Gulf should instead be used for relief of famine in Africa.

- From Baghdad, reporter Maggie O'Kane as been filing stories each day for the Irish Times. On Tuesday she said that there were 25 Irish citizens still in the city and that the Parc hospital continued to operate but had only 10 patients.

- Minister for Foreign Affairs Gerry Collins interrupted an official visit to Turkey and flew to Geneva to take part in the EC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting with UN Secretary General Mr Perez de Cuellar. When that was over he returned to Turkey.

- The Irish Times estimates that there are "hundreds" of Irish soldiers currently with the allies in the Gulf. Most are thought to be serving in the British Army with the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars, which probably has about 140 Northerners and 60 from the South in its 600 members. Other regiments will also have Irish soldiers and it is not at all uncommon for Irish to serve in the US forces. A neighbour's son, with the US Marines, is assumed to be there, and I am fairly certain that a friend from Cork is there with the 82nd Airborne. Of course, the Emigrant is still being sent to the Gulf to Galway's own Legionnaire.

- About a thousand demonstrators marched in Dublin in Saturday in protest at force being used to settle the Gulf crisis. A similar protest was held here in Galway and, I suspect, in other centres. There were prayers for peace in many churches throughout the country yesterday and a special service attracted 1,000 worshippers to St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

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

- It is believed that the campaign against drunk driving saved 20 lives in December. There were 25 road deaths during the month compared with 45 last year. Over 17,000 checkpoints were set up by Gardai. This was four times as many as a year ago. 4,500 motorists were breathalysed and 920 failed the test.

- The talks on the Programme for Social and Economic Development were held in the refurbished building which now houses the Department of the Taoiseach. This meant that television cameras were parked outside it every day and gave us provincials a good look at a very impressive structure. Under its lavish new floodlighting it would not look out of place in Paris or Vienna.

- There were 1,054,000 vehicles registered in the country at the end of September. This was an increase of 3.4% since January 1, 1990.

- Throughout the week there were many articles written about the late John Healy and his considerable contribution to Irish journalism.

- Frank Millar, a former chief executive of the Ulster Unionist Party, has been appointed London Editor of The Irish Times. Mr Millar resigned his position with the UUP in 1987 to work full-time in television in London. He has written occasional columns for The Irish Times for the last year. Some of these were extensive interviews with leading politicians in the North.

- Tim Morrissey, a 14-year-old pupil at St Paul's College, Raheny, won the Championship of Champions in a quiz show on the British Channel 4 television network. The programme is entitled Countdown and is described as a words and mathematics programme.

- A post-mortem is to be carried out on a Cork student, Cliona Casey, who died in the bath at her home in Beaumont. It is thought that she was somehow electrocuted by lightning when a storm hit the area. Experts were unable to find any electrical fault in the house.

- A Clumber Spaniel owned by a County Cavan man won this years supreme award at Cruft's Dog Show in England. The dog had already been selected as the Best Gun Dog at the show. Irish entries also took the awards for Best Elkhound, Best Irish Wolfhound and Best Wire Fox Terrier.

- Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the death of James Joyce. There were a number of events in Dublin to mark the occasion and Lord Mayor Michael Donnelly travelled to Zurich to lay a wreath on the writer's grave.

- This year's Aer Lingus Young Scientist's Award goes to two 17-year-old students at St Patrick's College, Maghera, Co. Derry. Danny Dundas and Barry O'Doherty presented what looked like a very complicated project which studied the "dynamics of a two-well potential oscillator". As a result of there experiments they believe they may have hit on a method of identifying metal fatigue in aircraft. Other top prizes went to pupils from Clonkeen College, Blackrock, Co.Dublin, the Presentation Secondary School, Limerick and Douglas Community School, Cork.

- I don't understand the details but there is another row going on about the management of Fota Estate in Cork. Former owners of the estate, UCC, are claiming that the new owner has caused damage to the house. There is also disagreement over the membership of a trust which will manage the house and part of the estate, after the remainder of Fota Island is developed as a holiday and leisure centre.

- A 21-year-old man with a mental age of two has lost his action against a drug company, the State, and a doctor. Suing through his mother, Kenneth Best of Cork claimed that he suffered severe brain damage from being given the whooping cough vaccine as a baby and not being treated for the adverse effects which this caused. Mrs Margaret Best says that she will appeal the judgement.

- Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act is to be renewed for another year. This is the section which prohibits the broadcasting of interviews with members of the IRA, Sinn Fein, the UDA and other prescribed organisations.

- Sections of the quilt created to commemorate AIDS victims will be taken on a tour of this country over the next few weeks.

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

- Last week's fire bomb attacks by the IRA are estimated to have caused damage amounting to Stg£20m.

- Peter Brooke announced that he plans to remarry in the next few months. The Northern Secretary was widowed in 1985 and his fiancee is a Conservative Party worker in England.

- The last phase of the the investigation into the Birmingham Six case is under way with the questioning, under caution, of 25 police officers who were involved in the original arrest and interrogation of the Six.

- There are fears that a toxic waste incinerator will be sited beside the Dupont plant four miles from Derry. One of the "attractions" of the site is that the jetty would allow the importation of toxic waste.

- The British National Trust has purchased 1,300 acres of upland in the Mourne Mountains. The area takes in five peaks including the highest mountain in the North, Slieve Donard (2,796 feet).

- A six-person delegation presented a dossier to Peter Brooke on the four Armagh UDR soldiers, jailed for killing a Catholic. The delegation was led by the deputy leader of the UUP, Peter Robinson and included Ken Maginnis MP, and the historian, Robert Kee. They claim that enough information is now available to prove senior police officers were involved in a miscarriage of justice and that the case should again be referred to the Court of Appeal.

- Speaking to the Institute of Directors at a lunch in Belfast, Dr Cahal Daly and Dr Robin Eames both urged a greater involvement in politics from the better-off, more moderate people in the community.

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

- There was a rise of 9,900 in the number out of work at the end of December. This increase was in line with the normal trend for the time of year.

- There is speculation that 200 jobs destined for the Co.Wicklow village of Kilcoole will now go to Newry. A Japanese-Irish consortium planned to make the material used for reflective road signs but locals insist that dangerous chemicals are used and that these would be a health hazard for all those living in the area. Planning permission, given by Wicklow County Council, is currently under review by An Bord Pleanala.

- The threatened rail dispute did not come to pass. First it was postponed for 24 hours while talks continued. Agreement was then reached and the strike called off.

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

- There was a bit of brouhaha over some files relating to the presidency which were recently made public at the National Archives. The files in question were removed as they were required for research by a civil servant at the Department of the Taoiseach. That apparently is quite in order but what caused the row is that, at the time, they were being examined by one Jim Duffy. This is the same Jim Duffy who released the tape which caused Brian Lenihan so much heartache. The Director of the National Archives described the removal of the files as "one of those extraordinary coincidences". The files will be back where they belong later today.

- Fine Gael leader John Bruton held at least two recruitment rallies during the week. The first was in Dublin and on Thursday night he was in Cork.

- The nations politicians are getting a fierce slagging on a Saturday morning radio programme on RTE. Master of mimicry, Dermot Morgan, is one of those behind "Scrap Saturday" which has achieved popularity with all ages. It is not just the politicians who are lampooned. RTE's chief reporter, Charlie Bird, needs to have a sense of humour also.

- John Bruton is expected to announce his new front bench team today.

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

- The trial of five people found on the gun-running ship, the Eksund, took place in Paris during the week. The main theme of the defence appears to be that the ship strayed into French waters and that no harm was intended to France. In an attempt to show the legitimacy of the "armed struggle" in the North both Bernadette McAliskey and Tim Pat Coogan appeared for the defence. They described the circumstances which gave rise to the IRA and highlighted some of the issues which exist today, such as the Diplock courts and the "shoot to kill" allegations of recent years. The Eksund carried 150 tonnes of arms, explosives and ammunition. Four previous similar shipments reached this country. The arms were intended for a major attack on the Maze prison. Prosecution counsel called for prison terms of five, six and seven years for the accused. The hearing took three days and the court will give its judgement in March.

- A major public seminar on Emigration is being held in Belfast during the coming week. There will be contributors from both sides of the Atlantic with a live satellite link to Washington DC.

- A Derry man was one of six people arrested when the FBI foiled an attempted raid on an armoured bank van in Abington near Boston on Wednesday. The Derry man and another of the six were previously jailed by a Boston Court for their involvement in shipping arms to the IRA. It is thought that the gang obtained $2m in two previous robberies. No names were given in the report which I read.

- A Johannesburg newspaper has been carrying claims from Donald Acheson that he was sent to Namibia by South African security forces to kill a newspaper editor. Mr Acheson is from the North and was once detained by police in Namibia for eight months on suspicion of killing someone else.

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

- British Airways is to withdraw from all its routes to the Republic, after March 24. At present the airline operates six return flights between Dublin and London each day and one from both Cork and Shannon. A spokesman said that "several millions of pounds" had been lost over the past three years on these routes. While there is disappointment at this decision it is felt that Aer Lingus, Ryanair and British Midland will ensure that there continues to be sufficient capacity between the two countries. There is a fear that it may affect the number of tourists from North America as 10% of such visitors travel by BA and arrive here via the UK.

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

- The BBC in Belfast announced an Irish for beginners series to be broadcast in ten 20-minute programmes. The series is aimed at primary school children and complements previous programmes for "O" level and "A" level students. The programmes are intended for all sections of the community, in the belief that Irish is part of the heritage of all people in the North.

- UCD has managed to find itself with about 100 fewer first-year Arts students than it had last year. The college authorities are somewhat embarrassed at this as there is still a growing demand for university places, and additional staff had been hired to cater for an increase in numbers. The shortfall in new students is put down to "miscalculations" by the college.

- All pupils entering second-level next autumn will have a six-year cycle to the Leaving Certificate. In addition a phased reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio in primary schools will create an extra 750 teaching jobs over the next two school years. These news items were exclusive to The Irish Times and are said to have been agreed as part of the current talks between Government and Unions on the Programme for Social and Economic Development.

- "Challenging Times" is a new quiz programme which started on RTE television. The contestants are teams of three students from third-level colleges, North and South. The question master is Irish Times columnist Kevin Myers and the programme is produced in association with that newspaper.

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

- Both Sinead O'Connor and Maire O'Connell have received nominations for Grammy awards in the US.

- I don't think this publication has managed to get across the extent of the impact made by the Tuam group the Saw Doctors. Even the likes of myself, not too well up on the contemporary music scene here, have not only heard of them but recognise their songs on the radio. Apart from their songs getting frequent airings, members of the group were interviewed on radio and television and numerous articles about them, and Tuam, have appeared in the papers.

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

- Balfe's opera, "The Bohemian Girl" was revived at the National Concert Hall last night and is to be recorded on the Argo record label over the next week. The background to this was well covered, particularly on radio, which I suppose is to be expected as RTE is behind the venture. "The Bohemian Girl" has never been recorded in its entirety before despite the fact that it includes such well known arias as "I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls" and "When Other Lips". For the occasion the National Concert Orchestra will be conducted by Richard Bonynge.

- One of Ireland's foremost living painters, Louis le Brocquy, has an exhibition running in Japan at present. A total of 63 paintings, drawings and tapestries went on display at the Kamakura Museum of Modern Art last weekend. The exhibition moves to the Isami City Museum of Art on February 9, and on to the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art on April 6.

- A reader in the UK sends the following:

"The Abbey Theatre brought their production of Brian Friel's 'DANCING IN LUGHNASA' to the English National Theatre on the London South Bank before Christmas. Both the play and the production won unanimous critical acclaim and played to full houses over a short season. The night the girl friend and I went, the huge cosmopolitan queue for "return tickets", was later reflected as a true indicator of the theatrical treasure that lay in store.

"If this Abbey Production hits the locality of the readers it is UNRESERVEDLY an occasion not to be missed!

"The top four Irish Plays/Productions seen in London over 1990 would fall something like 'Dancing in Lughnasa' (Friel), 'The Shaughraun' (Boucicault), 'Three Sisters' (Chekov - Cusack Sisters) and the one night fringe productions of 'The Sheepman from Mayo' (Molloy)". - Micheal na mBradainin

- 'Dancing at Lughnasa' returns to Dublin this month and then moves to New York in March.

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

- The writer, historian and broadcaster Hubert Butler died last Saturday, aged 90.

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

- Luke Carroll has returned to Ireland after a spell in Valbonne. Luke worked in the Ballybrit Plant before moving to the sun and is now the Unix Marketing Manager in the Dublin office.

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

EXCHANGE RATES:

IRISH POUND Jan 11 Jan 4

Sterling 0.9156 0.9164

US Dollar 1.7456 1.7756

Deutschmark 2.6737 2.6732

French franc 9.0731 9.0742

Dutch guilder 3.0155 3.0150

Belgian franc 55.20 55.04

Italian lira 2012.24 2009.98

Spanish Peseta 281.65 169.21

Japanese Yen 234.12 239.26

Swiss franc 2.2325 2.2635

Canadian dollar 2.0144 2.0430

Australian dollar 2.2570 2.2790

- Beef exports fell by by 9% in 1990. The Gulf crisis and the BSE (mad cow disease) scare are being blamed for the fall off. Exports to Britain and the continent were maintained but there was a big reduction in sales to North Africa and the Middle East. Total exports for last year are estimated at £1.15bn. There was more encouraging news for sheep and pig producers. Exports of live sheep and sheepmeat totalled a record £118m while pigmeat exports exceeded £100m for the first time.

- AIB and National Irish Bank followed the example of the Bank of Ireland and increased their interest rates by 0.75%. Personal overdraft now cost 16.25% while large companies can borrow at 11.25%. Farmers and small businesses pay a rate somewhere between those two. Depositors get 6.5% on their savings.

- The building societies also started to increase their rates by a similar amount. First off the mark were First National and ICS.

- The Irish Times carried an article forecasting difficult times for GPA in the event that the Gulf war takes place. The company itself remains fairly confident because of the global nature of its business.

- The Financial Times listing of the top 500 companies in Europe shows four Irish entries. These are AIB Group (197), Jefferson Smurfit (226), Bank of Ireland (332) and CRH (347). All four were listed last year also, and all but B.of I. made substantial jumps up the table.

- On Tuesday, the Bank of Ireland was expected to appoint a new chief executive in succession to Mark Hely Hutchinson but a decision has yet to be made.

- The AIB stock price fell to a four-year low of 143p. Bank of Ireland shares are also weak at 153p.

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

Well, once again I have talked about the weather in the news section and there is little left to say except that the weekend here in Galway was perfect for the time of year. Both days were clear, crisp and sunny, with a light breeze developing into a strong wind on Sunday evening. Saturday night was the coldest of the winter with air temperatures of -6C in parts of the country.

Latest Temperatures: Day 6C................Night 1C

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

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

Premier Division:

Athlone 1 Waterford 1

Cork 1 Bohemians 0

Dundalk 1 Derry 0

Limerick 1 Sligo 1

Shamrock R. 2 Galway 0

Shelbourne 1 St Pat's 2

First Division:

Bray 3 Longford 0

Drogheda 1 Kilkenny 1

Finn Harps 0 St James's G. 3

Home Farm 2 Cobh 2

Monaghan 0 UCD 4

Table: P W D L Pts

Drogheda 15 9 6 0 24

Cobh 15 6 6 3 18

Bray 14 7 4 3 18

UCD 14 7 3 4 17

Finn Harps 14 5 4 5 14

Kilkenny 15 3 9 3 15

St James's Gate 15 7 0 8 14

Home Farm 15 4 4 7 12

Monaghan 14 3 2 9 8

Longford 15 1 4 10 6

Irish League:

Ards 2 Glentoran 3

Ballyclare 0 Newry 3

Carrick 2 Ballymena 1

Coleraine 1 Glenavon 1

Crusaders 5 Larne 0

Linfield 2 Bangor 1

Omagh P Distillery P

Portadown 2 Cliftonville 0

- I have to apologise to Armagh City for not giving them full credit for their achievement last week. They, in fact, defeated league leaders Portadown in the first round of the cup. The 'B' Division team went to Shamrock Park in Portadown to win by 2 goals to 1. I picked up someone else's misprint and reported a one-all draw.

- Liverpool players have been withdrawn from the proposed Irish tour of the US this summer. The tour is now in doubt as other clubs are thought likely to follow Liverpool's example, and insist that players are available for club tours.

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

Schoolboy Representative Match:

Munster 9 Australia 14

Division One:

Constitution 10 Wanderers 9

Instonians 12 Garryowen 21

Lansdowne 24 Ballymena 7

Shannon 11 St Mary's 7

Table P W D L Pts

Constitution 7 6 0 1 12

Garryowen 7 6 0 1 12

Lansdowne 7 5 0 2 10

Shannon 7 4 0 3 8

Ballymena 7 3 1 3 7

Instonians 7 2 1 4 5

St Mary's 7 2 0 5 4

Wanderers 8 2 0 6 4

Malone 7 1 0 6 2

Division Two:

CIYMS 35 Athlone 0

Greystones 14 Bangor 15

Sunday's Well 27 NIFC 0

Terenure 75 Corinthians 0

Young Munster 9 Old Wesley 6

Table P W D L Pts

Terenure 8 6 0 2 12

Old Wesley 7 6 0 1 12

Young Munster 8 5 2 1 12

Bangor 8 5 1 2 11

Sunday's Well 8 4 1 3 9

Greystones 6 4 0 2 8

CIYMS 9 3 1 4 7

NIFC 8 2 0 6 4

Athlone 8 1 1 6 3

Corinthians 8 0 0 8 0

- Things went from bad to worse for Corinthians on Saturday. Terenure managed to score 14 tries against the inexperienced Galway side, which has still to get a league point.

- The IRFU has agreed a four-match tour of Namibia in July.

- The five nation championship starts next Saturday but Ireland is not involved until February 2. I saw a suggestion from the French, that the championship should be postponed if the world is at war.

- Galwegians defeated Ballinasloe by 22-6 yesterday and so became Connacht champions for the second year in succession. They now go into the a "round robin" play-off for a place in the All Ireland League next season.

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

- SWIMMING: Irish competitors at the World Championships in Perth had little luck. Some did return personal bests but these were not good enough to get to the finals.

- SNOOKER: Former world amateur champion, Ken Doherty, put on an impressive display in the quarter final of the Mercantile Credit Classic but still went down five frames to three to Jimmy White. On top of the prize money for getting that far he won Stg£5,000 for the highest break of the tournament. White went on to win the final.

- ATHLETICS: Eamonn Coghlan is now officially the chief executive officer of BLE. All was sweetness and light at the reception to mark the occasion. This was despite many adverse comments by athletics legislators over the last few months. These were directed against the appointment and, in particular, what was seen as the steamrollering of the decision by the Minister of Sport, Frank Fahey. Mr Fahey was unable to attend the reception because of "very, very important political business in the West". I think that was the day there was television film of him being transported on a tractor trailer, as he viewed the extent of the flooding in Co.Galway.

Catriona McKiernan came second to a Kenyan runner in the International Grand Prix Cross Country race in Limerick yesterday. The men's event was also won by a Kenyan runner with John Treacy finishing 4th.

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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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