Fragments 07-12-06

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the would-be owner of Liverpool FC, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, ruler of Dubai, the 23rd richest person in the world with a fortune of €12bn, husband of two wives – one of whom is the half-sister of the king of Jordan – father of 16 children, seven sons and nine daughters, is affectionately known as “Sheikh Mo”.

The truth about the Stardust fire

Exclusive – an unpublished report into the Stardust disaster claims the cause of the fire was not arson, as was concluded by the original inquiry in 1982. By Frank Connolly



Fragments 30/11/06

Myers' despicable libel on Douglas Gageby

A book of essays on the late Douglas Gageby is about to be published: Bright, Brilliant Days: Douglas Gageby and The Irish Times, amid a welter of controversy. And the controversy arises from two contributions: one by Kevin Myers and the other by James Downey.


Travellers to lodge formal complaint about Late Late

The Irish Traveller Movement is to lodge a complaint with the director general of RTÉ after a debate about Travellers on The Late, Late Show on 17 November. The debate was aired on foot of a new book by Sunday World journalist Eamon Dillon, entitled The Outsiders: Exposing The Secret World Of Irish Travellers, in which he deals specifically with criminals living within the Traveller community.

Angry scenes at funeral as family denied access to dead woman's remains

The family of Abi Williams, a Nigerian woman who died in a car fire in Dublin last month, were refused permission to view her remains. Her family have also complained they have not been given any information on her death by gardaí, except that her death is not being treated as suspicious. "We don't really know what happened to her," said Rasheed Abisoye Lafiaji, Abi Williams' brother. "We believe it's a racist attack. We want to know if she was stabbed, or shot, or strangled."

Fragments 2006-11-16

According to a recent newspaper report, the main parties are planning on spending in excess of €20m in the upcoming election campaign. Most of this is to come from private donations.

The cruel story of baby Ann

At the heart of the 'Baby Ann' case are two couples who, through no fault of their own, have been placed in a position which can only attract sympathy and compassion. By Justine McCarthy

Sorting church/state relations

The opening of church/state dialogue is itself indicative of a changed relationship between the church and the state in Ireland. Previously the idea of an "opening" of contacts between church and state would have been tautologous, for what passed for dialogue was a continuum. Indeed dialogue hardly captures what was essentially a one way process.