Wigmore - The RTE Authority, John Boland and Maurice Manning

THE RTE Authority was finally given an opportunity on Thursday, December 10 to meet the Minister for Transport and Communications, Pattrick Cooney, to press its case for a massive hike in the licence fee increase which the Authority claims is urgently necessary to save RTE from financial collapse. It was most unfortunate therefore that the Chairman of the

Authority, Fred O'Donovan, and the RTE Director General, George Waters, should have been unable to attend. They were weather bound in a French airport, where they had gone on some pressing business to do with the collecction of some prize.

ONE TD who arrived at the reception for the launch of The Magill Book of Irish Politics was asked at the entrance what he would like. "I would like that lady over there", he replied, pointing to a member of the Magill staff.

IN THE course of a recent power black-out at UCD an economist, Des Norton, was interrupted in the midst of a fascinating piece of research. Unndaunted, Mr. Norton crumpled up old examination papers, placed them in a steel container and set them alight, thereby providing himself with suffiicient light to finish his project. The smoke set off the fire alarm and connsternation was added to the chaos allready caused by the black-out.

ANOTHER casualty of that black-out at UCD was the dramatic society which was about to stage Richard's Cork Leg on the campus. One of.the key actors in the play decided not to turn up, presuming that the play would be cancelled. The ingenious director insisted on going ahead in spite of both the black-out and the absence of one of the main characcters. He himself read the part with the aid of candle-light - the part was that of a blind man.

THE MASTER of the High Court, former Fine Gael TD, Patrick Linddsay, was recently questioned by a young lady barrister for an adjournnment in a case. She was unsure of the grounds for an adjournment and she told Mr. Lindsay that she was merely "devilling" for another barrister.

"Who is that"?, enquired the Master. "Eamon de Valera", replied the lady barrister. "Ah , another plenipotenntiary" , quipped the Master.

MAURICE MANNING, the man who finally got Sean D. Loftus elected to the Dail and now Fine Gael whip in the Senate, almost defied electoral arithmetic again recently. The Coaliition partners have a 20 seat majority in the Senate but almost lost a crucial vote on the Order of Business recently because of the absence of several Coalition Senators, including, incidenntally, the boy Lord Mayor.

THE MINISTER for Education, John Boland, is beginning to pressurise Trinity College to hold evening degree courses as UCD does. At present Trinnity, which is in receipt of huge amounts of State finance and which is more centrally situated than UCD, reefuses to add evening degree courses to its three-week terms per year scheedule - they are worse even than the TDs.

THE BUDGET next January will be broadcast live on radio for the first time. This is the outcome of discusssions between the party whips in reecent weeks and is also the product of pressure from the new superintenndent of the DaH, Eamon O'Donoghue, who is quietly attempting to revoluutionise the meagre facilities there are currently available in Leinster House for TD, Ministers, the press and the public. It also seems that the prooceedings of the Senate will be broaddcast live on a trial basis early in the New Year. By the way, the Irish Parrliament is the only Parliament in the world, bar India's, that doesn't have its proceedings broadcast.