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14 May 1998 Edition

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Editor's desk

One of Sinn Féin's more socially aware activists took South African Home Affairs and Constitutional Development minister Valli Moosa on a magical mystery tour last week. After Moosa's interview with An Phoblacht he was expected at the Department of Foreign Affairs offices, also known as Iveagh House.

The house was one of the Dublin homes of the Guinness family who also held the title Earls of Iveagh. The Iveagh/Guinness dynasty left their name on many Dublin buildings so a mistake was understandable. But when the South African Minister was taken to a homeless people's hostel (called Iveagh Hostel) there was a certain amount of head-scratching.

Moosa's intrepid driver decided the minister was obviously a man of the people and would get a better view of Ireland by a trip to Iveagh Hostel rather than Iveagh House leaving Foreign Affairs minister David Andrews waiting in the ostentatious surroundings of the house the Iveaghs lived in, rather than the ones built for their workers.


The editor of the Irish Times, Conor Brady, is no friend of republicans. An editorial in his paper recently described republican activism as `fascist'.

The discomfort with Sinn Féin among the higher echelons in D'Olier Street was on display again on Monday when the Irish Times did not carry a photograph of the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis on its front page. It was virtually alone among broadsheet newspapers in Ireland, England or Scotland in not using a photograph of the main new story of the weekend.

And what alternative did the resourceful Irish Times picture desk come up? Well, they carried a photograph of a cycling brass band from the Netherlands.

It's easy to laugh at the pomposity of the Irish Times and this is allied to their increasing somersaults as Sinn Féin grows in political strength. They really do work hard in downplaying republicanism. A bit like the strange people who have to pedal a bike and play a tuba at the same time.


The good people of Newtownards in County Down have found themselves with a problem. People keep urinating on their statues. And these aren't just any ordinary statues. They are the War Memorial and the statue of Blair ``Paddy'' Maynes, the founder of the SAS.

The politically aware drunks have not been deterred by constant arrests for indecent exposure. So what solution have the council come up with? They have decided to floodlight the statues. Presumably to help the drunks see what they're doing.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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