Wigmore: John Feeney, the media and Dail Eireann, the Malvinas crisis
MEDIA COVER of Dail Eireann is likely to be suspended if a row between the superintendent of the House and the Press Gallery isn't settled soon. Superintendent Eamon O'Donoghue doesn't believe in making life too easy for reporters and is refusing to sign the 1982 membership cards for the Gallery without a guarantee that only 50 journalists will in future be allowed in for big occasions like budget day. Gallery membership is three times that and if O'Donoghue - a brother-in-law of Mark Killilea - doesn't back down the press people are almost certain to "black" the Dail .
THE STORY may be a little bit late but is still worth telling ... on the night of the famous FF coup that wasn't, in which Jack Lynch of course had no hand act or part, Des O'Malley resolved to wear a Glen Rovers tie for a Today Tonight v interview, (Jack Lynch hurled with the Glen Rovers). He was persuaded against it by a political confidante - who urged Dessie to do the statesman bit. So O'Malley wore the Limerick civic tie instead.
WE RECEIVED the accompanying communication from Mr. John Feeney, the worst journalist in the world. It was in connection with an enquiry by the NUJ into a complaint made by Feeney against Wigmore for alleging that Feeney instigated the downfall of Hibernia and that the only possible explanation for his behaviour in Independent Newspapers must be that he is plotting the downfall of that outfit also. Union regulations at present prohibit us from revealing details of the NUJ enquiry and its outcome - suffice to mention that we were extremely pleased with the outcome and Feeney has gone around town telling lies about what happened.
Once the NUJ rules permit us to report on the proceedings we shall publish a full report.
THE PERKS of office for a minister of state don't end with a chauffeurrdriven Mercedes ... especially if your name is Terry Leyden. Since moving into the G.P.O. Terry has instructed his officials to provide the following:
* A reception area where visitors can be entertained, particularly his connstituents, whom Leyden invited to drop in for a cup of tea "in my office across from Clery's."
* A shower unit adjacent to his minissterial office.
* A car phone for his ministerial Mere. * A telex machine for his Roscommon base.
* A new swivel chair.
Leyden's activities are being closely monitored . by his constituency collleague Sean Doherty, Minister for Justice. Regularly Doherty pesters Leyden's boss John Wilson about the need to keep Leyden in line - recently he complained about a speech by Leyden on local radio. Not his responnsibility, said Doc. Wilson is highly amused by the Roscommon rivalry, and ignores Doherty.
IN THE GENERAL HILARITY over the Malvinas crisis a point of serioussness has been overlooked: the Jimmy Magee factor. If the conflict conntinues, then England, Scotland and Northern Ireland may withdraw from the World Cup, which would be no great disaster in itself. However this would lead to BBC and UTV withhdrawing their coverage of the commpetition, which is where Jimmy Magee comes in. It's not funny.
PADDY POWER in his famous Edenderry speech on May 3, in which he castigated the British as the aggressors in the Malvinas, also made some interesting remarks on the Northern Ireland issue. Local reporter Paul O'Meara, who was present states that Power observed that a British withdrawal was necessary for peace in "this little island of ours". He conntinued: "we want a 32 county Ireland. Eight hundred years of British rule brought no peace to Ireland and the past ten years of British rule in the North has brought no peace either". Mr. Power ended his oration by quoting from Patrick Pearse's speech at the grave of O'Donovan Rossa:
"Ireland unfree shall never be at peace" and proclaimed "we would make as good a job of 32 counties as we have done with 26 and with Charlie Haughey we will achieved dream of a 32 county united Ireland". •