The following are extracts from an interview with Garret FitzGerald on some of the key issues in Irish politics.
The Armagh Palace Guard, Ian Paisley and the neglected homeless
THE COUNTRY has been on a massive drinking rampage since the return of the Fianna Fail Government to power in early summer. The sales of alcohol have rocketted by 15% in the three months from June to September over the same period last year, and the expectations in the drink trade are that this Christmas will see the most massive drinking spree in our history.
THE COVER UP of the fingerprint scandal goes on relentlessly.
The CATHOLIC Standard, once the triumphant bulwark of the Irish Catholic Church against the corrupting liberalism of the popular media, is in distress.
Liam Cosgrave was the major casualty of 1977, having begun the year, as he began the election campaign, believing that he was invincible. The coalition failed to commission opinion polls to determine the state of public opinion before the election and when their first polls became available a few days after the campaign was begun, several ministers took themselves back to their constituencies to save their own hides. Cosgrave, however, either didn't believe the polls or didn't understand their significance and, right up to the election count, remained convinced that he was invulnerable.
An investigation into the Garda fingerrprint affair reveals the following disquieting results:
• The former Minister for Justice, Patrick Cooney, seriously misled the Dail on the matter, either knowingly or unknowingly.
• Several senior Garda officers were and possibly still are involved in a systematic cover-up of the 'mistaken' fingerprint identification.
• The 'mistake' in the affair was of such seriousness as to question the reliability and integrity of the entire Garda fingerprint section.
The Church's cheap labour; Workers against Wage Restraint and Charles Haughey
THE LABOUR Party is gearing itself for its bi-annual purge and as usual the target is what remains of the left wing. The Labour bosses, however, might just pause before completing their purge file and contemplate . the inclusion of one Brendan Halligan.