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15 Years Ago
The Irish Emigrant - March 19, 1990

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March 19, 1990 THE IRISH EMIGRANT Issue No.163

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Editor: Liam Ferrie Circulation: 700

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Without doubt the major story of the week was the refusal of the Supreme Court to permit the extradition of two men to the North. This decision and reaction to it dominated the media from Tuesday afternoon until Thursday. Prior to that, the Government's plan to sell off a majority shareholding in the Irish Life insurance company captured the headlines. On Friday morning, news that the IRA had demanded £2m from the Bank of Ireland was the big story. Another story to make the headlines at the end of the week was the suspension of Senator David Norris from the Senate. What caused the greatest interest was his success in going to Court and having the suspension lifted, at least temporarily.

Of course with Saturday being St Patrick's Day there was extensive coverage of the parades around the country. That also provided the excuse to look at what the Irish abroad are up to. Many of our politicians decided to travel overseas and see for themselves.

MAJOR CONTROVERSY OVER EXTRADITION

On Tuesday the Supreme Court ruled that two Maze escapers should not be extradited to the North. The five judges were unanimous in their opinion that Dermot Finucane and James Pius Clarke "would be probable targets for ill-treatment by prison staff" if they were returned to the Maze. One of the main factors which drew them to this conclusion was a ruling by Judge Hutton in Belfast. He had previously dealt with a case in which a prisoner was suing for damages as a result of being assaulted by prison officers in the Maze after the escape. Judge Hutton accepted that he had indeed been assaulted, that he had been denied medical treatment and that there was a conspiracy among prison staff to cover up the assault. That judgement led to another eighteen prisoners being paid damages for assault. From this Chief Justice Finley concluded that "It would appear that no disciplinary action of any description had been initiated against any of the prison officers.." and "Many of the prison officers who were guilty of these assaults and this perjury were still serving in the Maze Prison, and none had been discharged..".

This ruling caused uproar, particularly in Britain and the North. Mrs Thatcher was described by sources close to Downing Street as "hopping mad". She described the judgement as "grossly offensive". John Cope, who is the minister in charge of security in the North, called it "a deep insult to the prison regime in Northern Ireland". Backbenchers at Westminster called for the abandonment of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. This plea was echoed among the Unionists in the North. Amid all the criticism there were some conciliatory comments. Northern Secretary, Peter Brooke said that the record of the Irish courts was satisfactory.

On this side of the border Fine Gael spokespersons were critical of the judgement. Initially the Government kept quiet but later tried to defuse the situation by pointing out that this did not set a precedent for future cases.

Obviously the security forces on both sides of the border were not prepared for this outcome. The main road between Dundalk and Newry was closed so that the prisoners could be handed over out of sight of any protesters. Instead when Finucane was released he ran from the court, jumped on the back of a waiting motor-cycle and has not surfaced since. Clarke, who has always maintained his innocence of the killing for which he was originally jailed, was less reticent. He gave a news conference later in the day. He now plans to get married and hopes to win a place in the Donegal Gaelic football team.

LA 'LE PADRAIG

The Irish language receives extra attention at this time of year. All the Masses in our local church on Saturday were in Irish which I am sure was the pattern in many churches around the country. Conradh na Gaeilge took advantage of the day to have a church gate collection. The week itself was designated as Seachtain na Gaeilge. Some Irish speakers did not approve of this and called a strike against the speaking of Irish on St Patrick's Day. The aim was to demonstrate to the "powers that be" what the Gaeltachts would be like if the language died. West of Galway there are signs hanging from the telegraph poles with the slogan "Stailc Teanga". Another group looking for support for the language is the Gaeltacht TV Working Party in Connemara. Their frustration at lack of progress prompted a letter to Margaret Thatcher. The letter praised the British Prime Minister for the television services provided for Scots Gaelic and Welsh language speakers. It went on to suggest that she do something similar in the North so that the Gaeltachts in the Republic could "eavesdrop" on it.

The main feature of St Patrick's Day (apart from the rain in Galway) continues to be the parades which are now held in every city, town and village. The one in Dublin gets more elaborate each year and as far as I know it was broadcast to many corners of the world. It was estimated that 350,000 people turned out to watch it. The weather was kind with the sun shining and the temperature about 15C. Father and son, Taoiseach and Lord Mayor, sat together to review the parade.

Here in Galway it was overcast in the morning; I did not expect it to rain, but rain it did. The first few groups in the parade had just passed the reviewing platform when the rain came on and stayed on for the remainder of the parade. That appears to have been the case in most parts of the West.

Radio and television noted the occasion with appropriate programmes. I learned on one request programme that the second largest parade after that in New York is in Sydney. 2 FM set up a studio in Kilronan on the Aran Islands and broadcast some of its programmes from there. Bibi was not allowed to go as far afield as Boston this year and had to settle for London.

ARTICLES 2 AND 3 BEING DEBATED AGAIN

When the Supreme Court recently accepted the constitutionality of the Anglo-Irish Agreement it re-opened the debate about articles 2 and 3 of the Constitution. The judges reaffirmed the interpretation which says that the six Northern counties are part of the Republic. This caused questions to be the raised in the Dail. The Taoiseach's response was simply to say that the court decision had "outlined the position as I have always seen it to be".

Someone in the Senate thought it would be a good idea to put forward a motion calling for "the necessary constitutional change to end the State's territorial claim" on the North. The PDs decided that its senators would have to support this motion. That would have been OK for the future of the Government as Fianna Fail has a comfortable majority in the Senate. It did not take long however for Dick Spring to see the opportunity this presented for testing the solidarity of the coalition parties in the Dail. This does not now look like causing any problem as Fine Gael has changed its stance, saying that any change should be linked to political progress.

The court ruling has prompted the UUP MP, Ken Maginnis, to say he will come south to have meetings with the Taoiseach and other political leaders. This approach does not have the approval of the Rev Ian Paisley.

IRA THREAT?

It was revealed late on Thursday that men alleged to be members of the IRA approached senior officials of the Bank of Ireland in the North and demanded two million pounds. The threat was made public by the Minister for Justice. The Government and the Bank made it clear that they were not going to give in to the unspecified threats which accompanied the demand. It is suggested that the reason for the demand was two-fold. There is speculation that IRA funds are dwindling as it is believed Libya's Colonel Ghadafi has stopped helping the organisation. Also, the Bank of Ireland is thought to be holding deposits of £2m which the Government here or in the North has frozen.

On Friday night the IRA issued a statement saying that its members had made no demands or threats.

THE "PRINCIPLE" TAKES OVER AGAIN

We have never been short of people who are willing to go to jail on a matter of principle. This time three Co.Offaly farmers are prepared to spend fourteen days in Mountjoy rather than pay a fine. They refused to follow the rules in relation to the bovine TB eradication programme because they say the Department of Agriculture was not taking seriously the effect the badger has in spreading the disease. This has been an ongoing debate, with many farmers saying that in certain parts of the country the badger is the prime culprit in preventing the elimination of TB. Conservationists disagree and are opposed to any moves to kill off badgers.

The jailed farmers have the support of their neighbours who picketed the Department of Agriculture on Friday. As a result of the farmers' imprisonment the IFA decided to withdraw all co-operation from the TB eradication programme. The three farmers spent just a brief period in Mountjoy before being transferred to an open prison in Co.Wexford.

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

- The Minister for Finance, Albert Reynolds, announced plans to sell off more than half its 90% holding in the Irish Life insurance company. This announcement was greeted with dismay by the trade union movement. The Minister made it clear that the Government would retain a "golden share" with which to ensure that no non-national could acquire a majority stake in the company. The unions claim that this alleged safeguard will not work as the EC ruled against the same ploy when it was attempted by the British. It will be at least a year before the sale takes place. It is estimated that it could bring £250m into the State coffers.

- Attempted suicides in our prisons continue to make news. On Monday it was reported that a woman prisoner in Mountjoy had tried to hang herself the previous Thursday. This occurred just hours after an all-party Oireachtas group had visited the jail. Later in the week a male prisoner in Limerick jail also attempted suicide.

- Alexander Dubcek, the speaker of the Czechoslovak parliament, has accepted an invitation to visit this country. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gerry Collins, issued the invitation during a two-day visit to Prague last weekend.

- The Bord Pleanala hearing into the Sandoz planning application opened in Cork on Monday.

- Another big Lotto prize went south last week. Someone in Cork City purchased the only winning ticket for the jackpot of £828,193.

- John B.Keane, the Listowel playwright and author has donated all his papers and manuscripts to Trinity College. His wife, he said, never allowed him to throw anything out and he has all the various drafts of his works as well as between 25,000 and 30,000 letters. He was apparently offered a six figure sum to let them go to America where they would have been sold off in small lots. He said that Trinity did give him a very generous figure, considering the budget with which it has to work, but this was nowhere near the US offer.

- Popular RTE broadcaster, Gerry Ryan, has incurred the wrath of the courts. In a recent programme he interviewed a woman who claimed she was a rape victim. The alleged attacker successfully applied to the court for leave to seek attachment and committal to prison, of Mr Ryan, RTE and the woman who was interviewed. He has also been granted leave to seek an order prohibiting the Director of Public Prosecutions from proceeding with the criminal prosecution. Gerry Ryan is the holder of a legal qualification.

- Three little boys in Co.Wicklow were briefly in the news on Monday night and Tuesday morning. Two 10-year-olds and an 8- year-old from Bray set off on what they intended to be a big adventure on Monday evening with food, a torch and 50p each. When they failed to return home before dark a major search was set up. They were still missing in the morning until one made a reverse charge phone call to his Mum from Greystones. The three had got lost in Delgany woods. The manager of the local Quinnsworth store then looked after them and replaced their wet clothes with new underwear and track suits.

- There have been a number of separate stabbing incidents in Dublin over the last month. Two young men died within a week of each other when they were involved in arguments. In both cases arrests were made. In another incident a middle-aged man died two weeks after being found with stab wounds in the Phoenix Park. Gardai have still not established a motive. This week a man was found in the Finglas area with serious head injuries and stab wounds. On Saturday evening there was yet another death from stabbing when a man was attacked on O'Connell Bridge.

- Tipperary Co-op is considering a proposal that it should apply for a licence to make poitin.

- Our property speculators still take every opportunity to extract funds from the hard-pressed taxpayer. Dun Laoghaire Corporation was presented with a bill for £18m this week. This is what a development company considers fair compensation for a main road going through an as yet undeveloped site and for allowing a travellers' halting site adjacent to what will be extremely upmarket housing. One report says that the compensation claim is greater than the original cost of the land.

- The first Catholic parish established in Dublin after the reformation is to be amalgamated with an adjacent parish. A falling inner-city population was the reason given to parishioners at St Michael's and St John's on Merchant's Quay for the closure of their church. An Taisce says that it will fight the decision.

- The success of the Irish feature film "My Left Foot" continued when Daniel Day-Lewis won the best actor award at the British Academy awards ceremony last night. The late Ray McAnally came top in the best supporting actor category.

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

- In Washington the Congressional Committee on Human Rights met to discuss the case of the Birmingham Six. Congressman Joe Kennedy who instigated the hearing took over the chair for the occasion. One of those who gave evidence was Gerard Conlon of the Guildford Four. Apparently the hearing created quite a bit of interest and was said to be the best attended in some years.

- The British House of Commons was told that it costs £5.8bn to administer the North. That is £3,660 for every man woman and child living there. The report I read did not make it clear if this was the gross or net cost (after allowing for tax income) but we were left to assume that it was the net cost.

- One of two men, involved in an attempted robbery in Lisburn with an imitation gun, was shot dead by the intended victim. The man who died was named as Clifford Lynas (25). It is said that when he and an accomplice accosted a man described as a debt collector a struggle developed and a shot was fired. Police later recovered a legally-held gun and a replica firearm.

- Efforts to integrate opposing factions in Belfast's Crumlin Road jail have led to fights. In two such incidents during the week a total of seven prison officers were injured.

- The court case in which a senior prison officer is accused of complicity in the murder of a colleague continued. The prosecution claimed that a named actress, with the Charabanc Theatre Company, was a top IRA spy and the contact through which the accused passed on information.

- At a pre-inquiry hearing into the Maguire case in London it was announced that the inquiry would begin on May 21.

- Samual McChesney (26) died after being beaten unconscious near his home in Belfast. The dead man was a full-time member of the UDR but the RUC do not believe that a sectarian or political motive was behind the attack.

- The new rules about integrated schools in the North have been in operation for some time. Now the Catholic church is to challenge them in court. Cardinal O Fiach and the four Northern bishops said in a statement that they did not object to the Government legislating for integrated education and they supported parents having the freedom of choice for their children's education. What concerned them was the fact that schools operating under the new system were entitled to 100% capital grants while voluntary schools received 85%.

- The Independent Television Network in Britain is to screen a documentary on March 28, entitled "Who Bombed Birmingham?". The programme is expected to give the names of the members of the IRA unit which carried out the bombings for which the Birmingham Six were jailed.

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

- A number of workers at the Leibert plant in Cork are on strike over the sacking of a worker for something which happened at a company Christmas party. Some staff have continued to work and production is being maintained. Management has gone to court looking for the picket to be lifted as it is inhibiting the movement of goods into and out of the plant.

- There was good news for the town of Abbeyfeale when 200 jobs were announced at the Kostal Ireland Ltd plant. A further £8m is to be invested in the factory which manufactures electronic components for the automotive industry.

- The Irish Hotels' Federation is to launch a recruitment campaign in England next month because of what it claims is a shortage of staff at home. There may be another side to the story as one unemployed hotel worker phoned a radio chat show to say that he was available for work but not at the £70 per week he was being offered. He claimed also that he was going to have to work many hours in excess of forty to get that.

- Oracle Corporation of California is to establish a software research, development and manufacturing facility at Leopardstown, Co.Dublin. Over a three year period the workforce, mostly graduates, will grow to 115. The prime role of the plant will be to convert software to run on the Unix operating system.

- Another Californian company is to set up a plant in Coolock and is expected to employ 139 in three years. Saronix is entering a joint venture with a South Korean company to manufacture a new generation of quartz oscillators.

- There was good news on the jobs front for Cork too. QC DAta Corporation of Canada plans to create 220 jobs in the Cork Technology Park. At Little Island Showerlux is to expand its existing operation adding 120 jobs.

- The February jobless total in the North was the lowest for seven years. At 98,939 (14.2%) they were down 1,474 on the previous month and 11,000 less than in February of last year.

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

- A row in the Workers' Party has led to the resignation of prominent member, Eoghan Harris and the removal of the chairman of the party's economic affairs committee, Eamonn Smullen, from two key committees. Mr Smullen published a document written by Mr Harris, which advocated a major change in party policy.

- No one in the Fianna Fail party has much to say about an allegation that Niall Andrews MEP verbally insulted a woman researcher to four British Labour MEPS. The incident was supposed to have happened in a bar in an EC building. The woman has now said that in the absence of an apology she has lodged a formal complaint with the president of the Parliament. In one interview Mr Andrews said that he had no recollection of any such incident.

- Senator David Norris found himself suspended from the Senate for a week but did not like the idea and went to court where he had the suspension lifted pending a full judicial review. Senator Norris had made some unsubstantiated allegations against the Cathaoirleach of the Senate, Sean Doherty, and the Committee of Privileges decided on the week's suspension as punishment.

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

- With St Patrick's Day falling on a Saturday today is a holiday. However, all the shops and stores are open to cater for the large number of US tourists. The workers can have a day off later in the month when things are quieter.

- Aer Rianta reported a 16% rise in the number of passengers using Dublin Airport in February. This was a 40,000 increase on last year's total.

- The year's biggest "Irish" racing festival again took place at Cheltenham in England. There was some jubilation on the first day when an Irish horse won a race there for the first time in two years. On Thursday Desert Orchid, last year's Gold Cup winner and odds-on favourite to repeat the performance, surprised everyone by coming third in a race which was won by a 100-1 outsider. The winner, Norton's Coin, was trained in Wales by its owner, a farmer. Many of the Irish visitors to Cheltenham called to see the new superstar on the way home. My only connection with the entire week's proceedings was to have the good sense to ignore a tip from a Reading fisherman for the 3:30 on Wednesday.

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

- We were told from a number of different sources about the Second Annual St.Patrick's Day Ball which was held on Friday in New York's Roseland Ballroom. Of course what captured our attention was the price per seat of $135. 800 people attended and various Irish and American charities benefited. The Irish Times referred to it as O'Leary's Ball as the man behind it was one Daniel O'Leary from Tallaght Co.Dublin.

- Attention was given to 150 passengers who flew into New York a week ago. This was a special package tour for people whose family and friends were undocumented immigrants in the US and who therefore could not come home. The organisers appeared to be seeking as much publicity as possible for this trip giving US immigration authorities the opportunity to notch up some successes.

- I told you last week that Minister for Energy, Bobby Molloy was heading for San Antonio for St Patrick's day. Well, as expected, he was not the only Government minister travelling. Tanaiste and Minister for Defence, Brian Lenihan, was in Washington where he presented President Bush with a bowl of shamrock. John Wilson was in Boston, Michael Woods in New York, Des O'Malley in Los Angeles, Seamus Brennan in Atlanta, Padraig Flynn in Brussels and Mary O'Rourke in London. In case you are wondering where Gerry Collins was this week he was on EC business in Oman.

- Yesterday was the big day for the GAA in the Toronto SkyDome. Paul Blaney wrote to tell me that the SkyDome is in downtown Toronto, holds about 55000 for baseball, and opened last year. It is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of baseball's American League, and numerous other events. It has an Astroturf playing surface but the main feature is the retractable roof, which can be moved completely in 20 minutes. It also has an incredible jumbo screen with great resolution. The games have been advertised in many newspapers, full-page ads, such as "What could be more fun than a Domeful of Irishmen", "The 1990 St Patrick's Day games, your chance to be Irish for a day", etc. The games are sponsored by The Canadian Gaelic Athletic Association.

> > > > > > > > > MUSIC < < < < < < < < < Reporter: Liam S. Ferrie

(Necessity has forced nepotism to creep into the operation of this newsletter! - Editor)

The big news this week is the multitude of international tours set to hit Ireland in the near future.

- On the teeny-bop front, soap opera star turned 'singer', Kylie Minogue, takes over the RDS in Dublin on April 28th and 29th. The parents of thousands of 13-year-old girls snapped up all the tickets as soon as they went on sale.

- At the other end of the scale Fats Domino is due to fly into Dublin on March 21st to play the National Stadium. He had his first hit forty years ago but is currently becoming familiar to a new generation through a television ad which uses his version of "Blueberry Hill" to advertise batteries.

- Billy Joel appears in an outdoor concert in the RDS showgrounds on June 2nd. His last single, "We Didn't Start the Fire" was a massive success world-wide and sparked renewed interest in his music. Consequently demand for tickets is quite heavy.

- Also coming form the U.S. is Heart who have forsaken the rather noisy hard rock they produced in the seventies for the more polished sound with which we are now familiar. Led by the two Wilson sisters, Ann on vocals and Nancy on lead guitar, they are at the National Stadium on May 1st.

- Ex-Go-Go's lead singer, Belinda Carlisle appears at The Point Depot in Dublin on June 3rd, hot on the heels of her world-wide smash hit with "Heaven is a Place on Earth".

- Swedish guitar wizard Yngwie J. Malmsteen will play the SFX in Dublin on April 29th. He was voted "Best Guitarist" in Guitar Player Magazine for four consecutive years.

- And last but not least, London-based Irish band, Fatima Mansions, return for an extensive Irish tour during April. Led by Cathal Coughlan, former frontman with the highly rated Microdisney, they released their debut album "Against Nature" to much acclaim both here and in Britain. At least one band thinks it worth while to venture beyond Dublin.

- Irish album releases this week include "Uncertain Pleasures", the third from Galway blues singer Mary Coughlan, which has received muted praise. Also out is the debut album from Dublin rock band Into Paradise, called "Under the Water", and "Himself", the latest release from Belfastman Andy White.

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

- John Walshe has been appointed U.S. Manufacturing I.M. Manager, reporting to Mike Houlihan. John will be a member of the U.S. Information Management and Technology committee and the U.S. Manufacturing team. He worked in Galway and Clonmel before moving to Maynard last summer to take up a staff role for Dan Infante. - Charles O'Connor has left Kaufbeuren to work for National Semiconductor in Munich.

- Gary Carpenter, a reader in Sydney, has also left the company to take up another position in Australia.

- Employees in Ballybrit were treated to some excellent traditional music on Friday when Martin O'Connor, the renowned accordion player, entertained in the canteen at lunch-time. Martin was born in Galway and lives in Annaghdown. He worked in the Ballybrit plant many years ago. After leaving he played with various well known groups including "The Boys of the Lough" "The Bothy Band" and "De Dannan".

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

EXCHANGE RATES:

IRISH POUND Mar 16 Mar 9

Sterling 0.9680 0.9652

US Dollar 1.5708 1.5661

Deutschmark 2.6625 2.6624

French franc 8.9975 9.0012

Dutch guilder 2.9988 2.9978

Belgian franc 55.33 55.38

Italian lira 1965.59 1966.40

Spanish peseta 171.25 171.03

Japanese yen 239.12 236.75

Swiss franc 2.3711 2.3609

Canadian dollar 1.8546 1.8442

Australian dollar 2.0855 2.0615

- The country's trade surplus continued in the black in January. Exports for the month totalled £1,134m, almost 10% up on a year earlier. Imports rose by 5.3% to £1,038m.

- Although he has still officially to take over his new role as chairman of Carrolls, Laurence Crowley has started to make his presence felt. On Friday the company announced a rationalisation programme that will see it shedding some of its loss-making US mail order subsidiaries.

- I was in the IMI on Tuesday and was surprised at how busy the place was. On inquiring I was told that there has been an upsurge in business. It has to be a good sign of the economy when companies are prepared to invest in the training of the staff.

- W & R Jacob, the biscuit people, reported a £3m pre-tax profit for the year to the end of December. This was six times the figure for the previous year.

- There has been activity in the shares of Berisford International and Unigate. Larry Goodman has a stake in both but it is not quite clear what his motives, if any, are.

- Another part of the collapsed Sunbeam Wolsey Group, Ballet International, has been sold.

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

It wasn't a bad week for the time of year. Temperatures were above normal although the wind here in the west made sure that we questioned the forecasters' claims about how mild it is. The sun shone for long periods, particularly in the early part of the week and you will have read above that it was still shining in Dublin on Saturday. The rain which arrived in the West on Saturday stayed with us throughout Sunday.

Latest Temperatures: Night 4C............Day 12C

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

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

All-Ireland Club Championships:

Football: Clann na nGael 0-7 Baltinglass 2-7

(Roscommon) (Wicklow)

Hurling: Ballybrown 0-16 Ballyhale Shamrocks 1-16

(Limerick) (Kilkenny)

- The Baltinglass victory in the All-Ireland club championship at Croke Park on Saturday was something of a fairy tale. This was the first team from the county ever to reach the final and they beat some mighty names on the way. On the other hand poor Clann na nGael were in their fourth successive final and have now lost all of them. It was a family affair in the hurling final with the seven Fennelly brothers collecting winners medals.

- In a Division III (North) play-off Leitrim defeated Offaly by 4-8 to 2-7. This caused tremendous jubilation among the Leitrim support but the team must still play either Wicklow or Kildare for promotion to Division II.

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

FAI Cup - First Round Replays:

UCD 4 Bluebell 1

Boyne Rovers 0 Sligo Rovers 1

Premier Division:

Cork 0 St.Patrick's Ath. 1

Derry 3 UCD 0

Dundalk 0 Limerick 1

Galway 2 Drogheda 1

Shamrock Rovers 2 Bohemians 1

Shelbourne 1 Athlone 1

P W D L F A Pts

St Patrick's Ath. 29 20 6 3 44 21 46

Derry 29 19 6 4 62 15 44

Dundalk 29 15 7 7 43 23 37

Shamrock Rovers 29 14 8 7 40 32 36

.

.

Limerick 29 6 7 16 24 40 19

Drogheda 29 4 7 18 17 39 15

UCD 29 4 5 20 22 55 13

First Division - Championship play-off (1st Leg):

Sligo Rovers 1 Waterford 0

Irish League:

Ards 0 Glenavon 1

Bangor 0 Ballymena 1

Distillery 2 Crusaders 2

Linfield 3 Carrick Rangers 1

Newry 1 Glentoran 0

Portadown 3 Cliftonville 0

P W D L F A Pts

Portadown 20 11 7 2 31 14 40

Glenavon 20 11 5 4 35 24 38

Ballymena 20 11 4 5 33 20 37

Linfield 20 11 2 7 43 30 35

Glentoran 20 9 7 4 27 15 34

.

.

- It was a busy week for Irish players on the transfer market. Tony Cascarino joined Aston Villa for a fee of £1.5m. While he was leaving the London side Mick McCarthy was joining it on loan from French club, Lyons. Niall Quinn was also on the move this week. Manchester City acquired his services from Arsenal for a fee of £750,000.

- An Bord Pleanala has granted planning permission for the building of 76 homes on the site of the Milltown football stadium. In over-ruling the Dublin Corporation decision it looks as if the board has killed off any last chance of football returning to the old Shamrock Rovers ground.

- The FAI has been told of its ticket allocation for the three World cup qualifying matches. The average allocation is about 3,000 per game which is close to what was expected. Additional tickets are in the hands of travel agents who are offering package deals. It seems that almost anyone who is trying to raise funds these days is running a raffle with a prize of a trip to Italy for the World Cup. This is so prevalent that it appears to be the only way anyone is going to get a ticket!

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

Five Nation Championship:

Scotland 13 England 7

Table: P W D L F A Pts

Scotland 4 4 0 0 60 26 8

England 4 3 0 1 90 26 6

France 4 2 0 2 67 78 4

Ireland 3 0 0 3 22 67 0

Wales 3 0 0 3 28 76 0

League games:

UCC 7 Young Munster 16

Shannon 9 Garryowen 15

Dolphin 9 Sunday's Well 13

City of Derry 21 Collegians 6

Club Games:

Old Crescent 20 Portadown 26

Instonians 30 Skerries 9

Bective Rangers 21 Highfield 7

Old Belvedere 29 St Mary's 36

DLSP 6 Lansdowne 21

Monkstown 6 Waterpark 22

Old Wesley 22 UCD 22

Blackrock 22 Terenure 18

Greystones 44 Clontarf 18

Dublin Univ 12 Wanderers 36

Munster Schools Sup Final:

Crescent 25 Rockwell 0

Glynn Cup Final:

Galwegians 9 Corinthians 9

- There are three changes on the Irish team to play against Wales next week. Fergus Ahearne has been dropped in favour of Michael Bradley while Brendan Mullin and John McDonald are fit again and take over from Philip Danaher and Terry Kingston.

- Garryowen are the final team to qualify for Division I of the new All Ireland league. Sunday's Well have clinched a place in Division II. They will be joined by either Highfield or Young Munster who have to play off for the last place there.

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

- BOXING: Dave McAuley of Larne made a second successful defence of the IBF world flyweight title in Belfast on St Patrick's Day. This time he had a comfortable points win over American Louis Curtis. Although now arguably as successful as Barry McGuigan ever was, McAuley does not get the same degree of publicity or generate as much interest.

- CYCLING: Sean Kelly finished sixth in the week-long Tyrrhenian-

Adriatic cycle race. Martin Earley was eighth.

- Both these riders pulled out of Saturday's Milan-San Remo classic when they found themselves 14 minutes behind the leaders with 110km to go.

- Stephen Roche has pulled out of a number of major races this year. His team manager wants to make sure that he is fit for another attempt at the Tour of France.

- GOLF: Brendan McGovern of Portmarnock returned a first round 67 for a share in the lead of the Tenerife Open. He also took 67 to complete the final round. Unfortunately in between he scored a 78 and an 80 and failed to get into the big money. Christy O'Connor Jnr finished in joint third after sharing the lead at the end of the third round.

- ROWING: There were 205 crews in the Galway Head of the river on Saturday. The event attracted many spectators despite the damp dull conditions.

> > > > > > > > > SAILING < < < < < < < < <

Reporter: Tom Foote @ILO

Since the fleet arrived in Uruguay my source of information has completely dried up and I have been unable to give you any news. My sailing interest in the meanwhile has been turned to beginning the refit of my own boat. Winter gales here on the West coast of Ireland have been incessant and time is becoming short. Our club lift in is scheduled to take place on April 21st. Thankfully, my own winter project of constructing a teak cockpit grating is almost complete, I wouldn't want to rush into making another one!!

Tomorrow is St Patrick's day and Leg 5 will start in Punta del Este, hopefully by early next week the news will begin to flow again.

LEG 5 Course: Punta del Este to Fort Lauderdale, USA. 5,475 miles. ETA 13 to 21 April. The fifth leg will be one of the most interesting. The start sets them off against the prevailing breeze, and once again it is a choice of the inshore track or offshore. This time there is a current against them, perhaps making the inshore course more favoured. In previous Whitbreads there was an incentive to get as far east as possible, to arrive into the North Atlantic to the east of the Azores High. This time there is no such requirement, so the fleet will skirt the the eastern corner of Brazil, and into the Doldrums again. Here it will be particularly tantalising because as soon as the yachts get through there is a clear run to Fort Lauderdale, with the South-east Trades, sunshine, flying fish and the knowledge that the worst is behind them. The trip through the West Indies and Bahamas will be the best fun since the fleet will be sailing amongst the charter yachts, fishing boats and commercial sailors who ply the Caribbean. The scenery will be spectacular with every island they pass.

The Irish Yachting Association will be holding its AGM at the end of this month at the Royal Cork yacht club in Crosshaven. Already the new 1990 flag officers and Regional Vice-Presidents have been decided, amongst these is Galwegian Donal Morrisey of Clarinbridge Crystal. The IYA will be firming up their plans for the 1991 Admirals Cup campaign, all indications so far are that this challenge is being well thought out and will be approached professionally. For the Olympics, the bulk of the 1992 competitors have been selected. If they meet the qualifying requirements, it is likely that Ireland will have the strongest team yet in Barcelona with representatives in all Olympic classes, except the male 470. Here there is a problem in high performance two-man dinghy classes with no one committed in this area. However, ranging from the Star, Soling, Tornado, Flying Dutchman, the Europe, Lady 470, Finns and board sailors, Ireland should be well represented. There is little left to do before 1992 and already the IYA is giving thought to the next generation and the 1996 games.

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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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