Beating Banagher


`Well, that beats Banagher," said Pat Rabbitte last week as John McCluskey, head of ACC, told the Public Accounts Committee about the bank's dealings with the Revenue on DIRT.

This week, the Labour TD received a letter from Pat O'Donnell, author of The Irish Faction Fighters, praising his use of an old Irish saying indicating "stark amazement at a near incredible occurrence". O'Donnell says it probably originated in that Banagher was a pocket borough notorious for its parliamentary corruption. In January, 1814, 500 fighters from the parish of Lusmagh marched into town "with the intention of beating Banagher". Advance notice of their intent was posted by a Captain Stout. Following a tragic fracas the phrase "t'would bate Banagher and Banagher bate the band" gained currency.