Garret FitzGerald: Profile of Expectation

A French Member of Parliament visiting Ireland last year stated that Garret FitzGerald was the most formidable public figure in Europe. Certainly he is preeminent in Ireland where his enormous intellectual and administrative abilities are unmatched anywhere on the political scene. By Vincent Browne

The National Binge

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.

Magills People of 1977

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.

Fingerprint Scandal: Cover-up goes On

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.

Labour Party: Brendan Halligan a Liability

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.