Issue 2 - 2024 200dpi

3 July 1997 Edition

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Editor's desk

Caoimhghín O Caoláin is preparing to move into his new office in Leinster House and already there have been reports that his new neighbour is less than happy that a Shinner is set to lower the tone of his neighbourhood. He is none other than Des O'Malley, former Progressive Democrat leader and Minister for Justice who was responsible for introducing the Offences Against the State Act and has, let's say, a less than happy relationship with republicans. I'm sure Caoimhghín will greet him warmly each time he passes.

At least he won't have to meet another former Justice Minister and party leader who was the previous tenant of the office - no less than Alan Dukes, our old Fine Gael friend.


Another TD whom Caoimhghín will no doubt run into is the lively Jackie Healy Rae from South Kerry. The Dublin media have looked on him with amusement and created a storm in Kerry when they decided to slag his accent. Already protest is rising and it will do no harm to his chances of re-election.


News reaches us that the protestors on the roof of the Liverpool Irish Centre (as reported in An Phoblacht for the last two weeks, they are trying to prevent the Centre being closed down by the receivers) have been cheered up by support from late night revellers who bought them chips, kebabs and drinks as they were waiting for taxis. On the cold, wet nights during which the protestors have been on the roof, it was welcome help.


Other radicals may be luckier. By now they should be well settled in. Lounging beside the pool. Sipping cocktails in the cool of the air-conditioned bar. Tanning themselves on the beach and splashing in the blue Mediterranean waters. Holding Army Council meetings under the sunshades. Wha? Yes, you heard me correctly. According to Sunday Life on 22 June up to 25 top ``terror bosses'' in both the IRA and the INLA are at this very moment in Santa Ponsa in Majorca at a ``terrorist summit''. Or maybe it's just that the silly season has arrived early at the Sunday Life.


Now, two cases of British soldiers to laugh at. The first is Robert Donnelly who tried to rob a post office in Hampstead with an air rifle in the waistband of his trousers. He walked in, an alarm was pressed and he fled. The owners of the post office didn't report it because they wanted to carry on serving customers. Undeterred, Robert reported it himself, and confessed. He said later he did it because he didn't want to serve a second tour in South Armagh.

The second is Major David Senior who had an even more bizarre excuse for being naughty. He fiddled the accounts for army rations allowances but was soon caught. His excuse? He was not in control of himself because he was suffering from the effects of drinking a gallon of tea every day for twenty years. I kid you not.

An Phoblacht
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Dublin 1