Wigmore 30 May 1985 - Bruce Arnold, RUC and Garda, Sue Reid, Ann O'Sullivan

WHOOPS, HOLLERS and rousing choruses of "The Boys of the Old Brigade" heard in the vicinity of Downey's Pub in Ballyfermot last Monday week did not, after all, emanate from local Sinn Feiners celebrating the party's showing in the North's local elections. The cause of the Republican joy was much closer to home.

A team of local paid-up patriots had just scored a stunning victory in the area pub quiz competition, recording a first-round victory by the corillortable margin of 35 to 14. Thejsporting losers took their defeat in good spirit, I'm told. The losers were representing, as it happens, Massey's Funeral Parlours.

In the second round, Ballyfermot Sinn Fein come up against a squad from the Bank of Ireland. Something of a needle match, I wouldn't wonder.

* * *

THE WIGMORE complex has been a vibrant hive of activity this past forttnight - lights blazing into the night and so forth - as the Think Tank, backed up by specialist ancillary staff, pored over the thousands of entries (oh, all right, not exactly thousands) for the fabulous What Bruce Arnold Means Test.

We offered a free, annual subscripption to Magill to the reader who offered the most likely theory of what the Indo bon viveur meant by the paragraph (Indo, May 11): "The construction of inevitability is derived from a form of fatalism, and is conncerned primarily with money. There is a shortage of it. Everybody needs it. No-one is getting enough of it, inncluding the Government, whose policy is based on recognising realities about it. "

Exciting, eh?

Immediately disqualified were smarttalec entrants who suggested, for exammple, that "Bruce Means Heinz" (T. Roddy, Omagh) or "He means 'Vote Fine Gael' and hammer the unions,' that's what he always means," (M. Doherty, Blanchardstown). Briefly connsidered was a mysterious entry from James Doyle, Tullow, Co Carlow, who argued for an intriguing theory that Mr Arnold was expressing personal grief at the loss of his pet cat. And an early front-runner, T.V. McDonnell of Glasnevin, was eliminated on a technicality, viz that he believed Wigmore and Mr Gene Kerrigan to be one and the same person. Mr Kerrigan's rowdy faction took this as an insult to their man.

F. 0 'Dowd of Villiers Road, Dublin 6, offered this translation: "The flant is continually circomloting in the graly , thus causing tremendible prooquests for the Government. It is felt in inforactual circurs that the remedy may lie in charcotting the present afflaxus." Sorry, F. O'Dowd, that's John Devine, not Bruce Arnold.

The prize finally went to Diarmuid o Conghaile of 46, An tAncair, Mullachide, Co Atha Cliath, who, having elaborated his "theory of inverse clarity", explained that the meaning of the paragraph became clearer when it is read backwards. Thus: "It about realities recognising on based is policy whole whose, Government the including, it of enough getting is one no. It needs everybody. It of shortage a is there. Money with primarily concerned is and, fatalism of form a from derived is inevitability of construction the."

Time some again this do must.

Meant Bruce what that's so.

* * *

THE RECENT misunderstanding beetween RUC chief John Hermon and Garda boss Larry Wren shouldn't be allowed to obscure the continuing close' cooperation between members of the two forces in day-to-day operaations along the border.

Earlier this month a senior garda officer and at least one RUC officer of sergeant rank actually infiltrated a largish body of law-breakers involved in violent crime on the Cavanmanagh border. At great risk to themmselves, the plain clothes officers stayed close to the law-breakers as the gang fled across the border folllowing the appearance of a British Army surveillance helicopter overhead. The gard a officer, who for security reasons (Wigmore's) cannot be named, had recently won deserved praise for his part in apprehending men involved in attacks on elderly people in the North West.

Having reached the sanctuary of the South, the bandit gang hurriedly scratched out a "pit" and the cockk.fighting resumed. Sadly, I have to report that the garda officer lost a three-figure sum betting on a bird from Mayo and was further out of pocket when he tried to recoup his losses at a subsequent game of pitch. and toss.

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NO SURPRISE, I suppose, that the rest of the media seem to have ignored the telexed reasonable complaint from Dublin Sinn Fein local election candiidates, Ann 0 'Sullivan (Ballyrnun/ Drumcondra), Breedge Tuite (Balbrigggan) and Cliona Nic Mhurchu (Greennhills) about the sexist terminology of the official Notice of Election pubblished in the national dailies on May 17th. The notice announces that "A person may nominate himself as a candidate or may, with his consent, be nominated by a proposer etc etc ... "

The casual sexist assumptions underrlying that wording are, or should be, profoundly offensive to anyone with even a minimal commitment to women's rights. That it should appear in an official notice concerning the democratic process is indicative of the distance we still have to travel before women can be certain they will not be formally insulted by the State's reppresentatives when they seek to exercise their rights as citizens.

The notice was signed by a J.D. Taylor, Deputy Returning Officer who should be ashamed of herself.

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NEWS IS coming in as we go to press of the destruction of the Asdee statues.

First reports indicate that two of the statues were killed as they crossed the road. Another was seriously innjured and is now in Tralee General Hospital. Doctors fear that it may be paralysed for life. Allegations emanaating from subversive sources that the statues were beaten up in Tralee Garda

Station are, we can confirm, entirely without foundation.

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WARMLY RECOMMENDED to Tralee readers in the UDC poll is the candiidacy of Michael 0 'Donovan (Indepenndent). At the press conference in Benner's Hotel to launch his campaign on May 14 he pledged that "My main priorities will be the needs of our young boys and girls. I am associated with them ever since I ran the first youth hop in Tralee in 1962."

He continued: "I will have a depuutation to meet the incoming new Parish Priest of Tralee about bringing back the Sunday evening Mass which should not have been changed. I am very conncerned about the way the travelling people are treated. I realise that they are their own worst enemies."

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SUE REID. Some readers might reemember Sue Reid. Sue Reid is a reporrter with the Mail on Sunday. And Sue Reid has figured in Wigmore 'ere this.

November last we drew attention to a Mail on Sunday piece by Sue Reid (November 11) in which she revealed to a no-doubt shocked and horrified British readership that striking miners were attending "closed meetings" in Dublin at which officials of the Dublin Council of Trades Unions were instruccting them in how to use paramilitary tactics to com bat police operations." The DCTU, Sue Reid went on, has "strong links with Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA."

In Magill (November 15) we demonnstra ted, which wasn't difficult, that there wasn't a word of truth in Sue Reid's yarn. Now Sue Reid has made the headlines again in connection with the miners' strike.

Trades Council members will be interested to learn that Sue Reid has been reprimanded and warned as to her future conduct by the national executive of the NUJ following a complaint that she had used dishonest subterfuge to infiltrate a women's miners' support group in Barnsley, lifted a quote from a book and preesented it as if said to her by a named member of the group and wrongly named Ms Ann Scargill as the groups' "figurehead ".

Are Sue Reid and her fellow Mail on Sunday hacks chastened by this experience?

Not a bit of it. The current issue of the NUJ paper, the Journalist, carries a letter from Russell Forgham and Rupert Radcliffe-Genge (respectively father and deputy father of the NUJ chapel at the Mail on Sunday) drawing attention to a motion passed unaniimously at a chapel meeting declaring that the chapel "fully supports her conduct and gives its strongest support for her in her defence against the commplaint and professes the utmost connfidence in her ability, professionalism and honesty."

Readers who encounter Mail on Sunday journalists know now what they will be dealing with. Or at least they will if the Mail on Sunday hack isn't involved in some subterfuge.

They used to make lepers wear bells around their necks.

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NOEL CARROLL of the Dublin Corpo has been in touch about the piece on Corpo rent-collecting procedures two issues ago. He points out that Corporaation officials are charged with the duty of collecting rents, that rents are set at a level calculated to take account of tenants' ability to pay and that it is not the purpose of Corporation offiicials to evict people but, on the conntrary, to house them. Of course we accept this.

The basic problem, it has to be conceded, doesn't have to do with the Corporation at all. The basic problem is poverty.