The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland)

A Unionist newspaper published daily in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Articles cover current events, politics, and sports from around Northern Ireland and the UK.

Articles from December 24, 1998

Blackest Day for Government; Double Resignation Taints New Labour's Snow-White Image
AS Prime Minister Tony Blair prepares to celebrate Christmas at Chequers, he will reflect on the fact that a Government which was supposed to be "purer than pure" has now lost three ministers to scandals in just eight weeks. Yesterday's departures...
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Brave Alastair to Be Team Mascot; He Has Been Very Courageous. He's Never Been Angry, Never Felt Sorry for Himself. He Just Seems to Accept It
THE bravery of a young boy who lost his leg in the Omagh bomb will be saluted when he leads the Irish rugby team onto the pitch for their match against England next year. Alastair Hall, 12, will put the horror of the August 15 atrocity behind him...
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Brave Men Who Blazed the Trail in Kentucky; BILLY KENNEDY Has Been to Kentucky, Travelling along the Wilderness Road Via the Cumberland Gap - in Pursuit of 18th Century Ulster-Scots Who Pioneered This "Dark and Bloody Land"
ULSTER families were in the vanguard of the first flow of pioneer settlers who took the wagon road to Kentucky in the last three decades of the 18th century. With English frontiersman Daniel Boone, these hardy folk moved along the Wilderness Road,...
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Churches: A Time for Everyone; Cornerstone
Methodist President the Rev David Kerr believes simply that Christmas is for everybody or it is for nobody. The good news of Christmas, he says, declares the universiality of God's love to all people, irrespective of race, colour, class or creed....
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Cracks Deepen within UKUP; I Am Not Leaving Politics: McCartney
THE UK Unionists' four dissident Assemblymen have dismissed the results of an extraordinary party meeting which passed a motion calling for their suspension. They claimed Tuesday night's meeting had not been properly constituted and questioned the...
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Did Mandelson Inform Building Society about Loan from Robinson?
PETER Mandelson last night said he could not remember whether he had told his building society about his loan from Geoffrey Robinson when he applied for a mortgage. Mr Mandelson took out a pounds 150,000 mortgage from the Britannia Building Society...
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Donations Keep Hospice Appeal on Target
THE generosity of readers has exceeded all expectatons with the News Letter/Irish News Children's Hospice Appeal smashing the pounds 130,000 mark. As the total continued to grow, officials are amazed and delighted to have raised almost a third more...
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Don't Let Taylor Killer out - Police
THE chairman of the Police Federation has made a heartfelt plea to the Secretary of State not to include in the accelerated release scheme the killers of Const Greg Taylor who was kicked to death in Ballymoney last year. Leslie Henry and Alistair...
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Double Disaster for New Labour; Black Day for Blair as Two Resign
PETER Mandelson and Geoffrey Robinson resigned yesterday as New Labour's worst 48 hours in government ended in a double disaster for Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Trade and Industry Secretary and the Paymaster General were forced to go as the tortuous...
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DUP Hits out at Inaction over `Ethnic Cleansing'
EAST Belfast Assemblyman Sammy Wilson has claimed that Protestants in the Madrid Street and Thistle area are facing a Christmas of fear and uncertainty. The DUP man said: "Years of neglect by the authorities and attacks by republican elements in...
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Football: Currie to Leave Bangor
NIALL CURRIE (pictured) has been placed on the transfer list by Bangor. The 26 year old former Portadown, Glenavon and Distillery goalkeeper made the request, and reluctantly manager Alan Campbell has agreed. Currie has been shadow to teenager Andy...
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Football: Dunmurry out to 'Rec' the Party
DUNMURRY Rec will be aiming to bridge a gap of over three quarters of a century when they play RUC in tomorrow morning's Calor Steel & Sons Cup final, the club's last success in the competition coming in the 1919/20 season. A team from Dunmurry...
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Football: Ferguson, Morgan on Course to Face Glens
LINFIELD strikers Glenn Ferguson and Chris Morgan received treatment for their respective injuries last night and then joined in a light training session with the rest of the squad. Manager David Jeffrey was delighted. It appears the hotshots will...
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Football: Lee to Sharpe-N Up Platt's Sampdoria
NEW Sampdoria boss David Platt will today open talks in a bid to make Leeds' out-of-favour winger Lee Sharpe his first signing. Sharpe (pictured left) has been forced to endure an agonising month on the sidelines after being transfer-listed by manager...
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Football: Police in Hot Pursuit
RUC are in hot pursuit of a second Calor Steel & Sons Cup triumph when they take on underdogs Dunmurry Rec in the final at Seaview tomorrow morning (11.00). The police, currently riding high in the B Division, made the big breakthrough in style...
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Industry Tribute to Peter
BUSINESS leaders yesterday unanimously expressed regret at the resignation of Peter Mandelson. Many praised his recent work on the Competitiveness White Paper and urged Stephen Byers, Mr Mandelson's successor at the Department of Trade and Industry,...
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IRA Guns Rob Loving Mum of Reason for Christmas; Candle Burns Non-Stop for Murdered Son
CHRISTMAS will hardly touch west Belfast mum Maureen Kearney tomorrow. While the rest of the Province tucks in to turkey, she will struggle to stomach a mouthful of anything. Her mind won't be on basting or baubles but on the one person whose absence...
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Lapland Adventure Just Magic for Little Ashley; Reader's Generosity Makes Gift of a Lifetime
HIS parents can never give him the Christmas present they would so desperately love to - the gift of a long life. But at least yesterday the McGregors got the chance to give their dying son Ashley the experience of any lifetime when they flew him...
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Mail Company Runs off with $1M Contract; High-Speed Delivery Helps Clinche Deal
A BELFAST-BASED mail company is flying high after winning a $1 million contract which will revolutionise mail distribution worldwide. Mail Matters Direct has signed a deal with a major American publishing company and will be responsible for distributing...
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Morning View: Christmas Miracle at Drumcree?
HAROLD Gracey is not celebrity material. He does not like having his photograph taken by the Press. Not for him the soundbite technique, nor off-the-record exchanges in hospitality suites or make-up rooms of television studios. He is, some would...
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Motorsport: Lawrence Gears Up for Some Festive Cheer
LEADING rallycross driver Lawrence Gibson is one of the favourites for victory on Sunday at Mondello Park in a Rallysprint. The Banbridge driver will be driving his L&R Garages Metro 6R4, a car he has campaigned with good effect throughout the...
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Not One Derry Republican Remains Behind Bars; Prisoners' Support Fund `to Wind Up'
NOT a single Londonderry republican will spend Christmas behind bars. This is the first time in over a quarter of a century that this has happened - a situation that has arisen because of a combination of the Christmas parole scheme and the early...
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One Thing for Sure: He'll Be Back
WE are not bidding farewell to Peter Mandelson. He will not, like so many other fallen ministers, slink off into political obscurity. That is a racing certainty. Mandelson - like his grandfather, Labour Cabinet minister Herbert Morrison - is...
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Planners in the Firing Line
DEVELOPERS who flattened a row of 18th century houses in the street where St Malachy was born in Armagh, are accusing Government planners of placing restrictions on the redevelopment which will unnecessarily curtail the complex. Ogle Developments,...
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Prison Gates Open for Christmas Hols; NIO Faces Heavy Fire as Notorious Killers Enjoy Seasonal Liberty
THE Northern Ireland Office came under heavy fire yesterday after it allowed the Shankill bomber to be slipped out a staff entrance to avoid his having to face the daughter of two of his victims. Michelle Williamson, 31, whose both parents were...
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Racing: Dempsey New Kid on the Block
Every racing fan has heard of Mary Reveley, the leading dual-purpose trainer for about a decade now. And most jumping enthusiasts will be familiar, too, with Random Harvest, who represents the Lingdale handler in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase...
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Racing: Watch Bay Go!; Sherwood Eyes Ericsson Chase
SUNY Bay will attempt to defend his unbeaten record for the season in the Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown next Monday, the grey's trainer Simon Sherwood confirmed yesterday. Sherwood, in his first season at Uplands in Lambourn after taking over from...
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Stocks: Festive Cheer as Shares Hit a High
LEADING shares closed at their highest point for five months yesterday after a positive session on Wall Street gave rise to a last-minute dash before Christmas. News of the resignation of Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Peter Mandelson...
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Superstars `Can't Play' at New Millennium Theatre
SUPERSTARS won't be able to shine at Londonderry's pounds 12 million Millennium Theatre complex, it was feared yesterday. Showbiz sources delivered a Christmas blow to Londonerry City Council's dreams of attracting big box office draws by pointing...
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Tony and Bill Can't Talk of Peace and Harmony
AT Christmas there's never any shortage of statements from world leaders on the need for harmony and peace across the globe. But it will be hard to take anything Bill Clinton or Tony Blair say on the subject seriously after the bombing of Iraq. ...
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Travel: Ah, le Golf, le Jambon, le Hangover; JOHN GASTON on Golf in Aquitaine
The South West of France, bordering the Pyrenees and including the French Basque country could claim to have the most diverse scenery, culture and attractions in the country. Food, wine, music and breathtaking changes in vista from the aromatic...
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Travel: Nothing like the Rail Thing; HUGH DOUGHERTY on the State of the Province's Railways
This summer, I was whisked under the Channel Tunnel on Eurostar. I also rode smoothly out of Dublin on Irish Rail. And I travelled on the Stranraer boat train from Glasgow, on time, and in a fair degree of comfort. But I also experienced the worst...
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Your Wheels: Dear - but BMW 328i Still Has It; Richard Sherriff on Motoring
IF YOU'RE going to buy a car that says "I'm on the way" the BMW three series is your man, as it were. Cool and unnecessarily expensive, it epitomises all that is good, bad or just plain cynical about our attitude to car ownership. The new three series...
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