Inflation rate above 2% as OECD warns economy may overheat

 

Saturday/Sunday

A recommendation for a national minimum wage of £4.40 an hour was welcomed by the Tanaiste, Ms Harney. The Nat ional Minimum Wage Commission report proposed that the new rate be implemented from April 1st, 2000.

Internal audits at Bank of Ireland and AIB uncovered evidence of the use of bogus non-resident accounts in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

Three men were arrested after the seizure of cannabis resin worth up to £2.5 million in Ashbourne, Co Meath.

Former RTE newsreader Maurice O'Doherty died in Dublin aged 65.

The absence of waste-disposal charges in Dublin was described as an "absolute nonsense" by the city manager, Mr John Fitzgerald.

Monday

The First National Building Society announced details of its planned conversion to a public company in autumn 1998. About 120,000 customers will receive free shares, and about 100,000 account-holders will qualify for cash payments, provided the conversion is approved by the society's members.

Mrs Julia Ahern, mother of the Taoiseach and the Fianna Fail TD for Dublin West, Mr Noel Ahern, died aged 87.

A mildly handicapped homeless boy was taken into residential care after the Children's Court heard there was no suitable place for him to be held.

The deadline for applications for the third mobile phone licence closed. The competition attracted two bids: from Orange Communications, a subsidiary of the British company, and from a consortium led by Western Wireless from the US and Irish company RF.

A former Protestant church was blessed after it had been renovated to enable couples not allowed to marry in a Catholic church to have a traditional wedding. Father Pat Buckley said 16 couples had already booked it for their weddings.

Tuesday

A draft settlement paper was presented to the Northern Ireland parties by the Stormont talks chairman, Senator George Mitchell. In an early morning press conference, he appealed for no one to leak the document for their own advantage. "Lives and deaths are at stake here," he said.

The Government ordered the complete sell-off of Cablelink, including the 25 per cent stake held by RTE. The decision surprised RTE which wanted to retain its shareholding.

Legal fees for three women who settled cases against the Blood Transfusion Service Board, at £2.3 million, amounted to nearly four or five times the level of awards to the women, the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee was told.

Roadstone Ltd was involved in an exchange of land at Kinsealy with former Taoiseach Mr Charles Haughey, The Irish Times revealed.

Wednesday

British and Irish officials, acting on the instructions of the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister, worked on a revised version of the Mitchell draft agreement with a view to producing a settlement. The drive followed a tripartite meeting between Mr Ahern, Mr Blair and the Ulster Unionist leader, Mr David Trimble.

A former UVF prisoner, Mr Trevor Deeny, was murdered by two INLA gunmen in Derry. His was the first murder by paramilitaries in Derry since April 1994.

Legislation to give tens of thousands of adoptees a right to their original birth certificates - but only with the consent of their birth mothers - is to published this year, The Irish Times learned. The proposed requirement of consent was attacked by the Adopted People's Association.

Overheating is the chief risk facing the Irish economy in the run-up to Economic and Monetary Union, the OECD warned in its latest economic outlook. It said signs of overheating were already evident, such as labour shortages in a number of skilled trades and a boom in housing and other asset prices.

The President of the District Court was asked to explain the circumstances in which a judge heard a Revenue case against a solicitor in the privacy of his chambers.

Three people were arrested after over 10,000 pirated videos were seized by gardai near Dromad, Co Louth.

A £17.7 million IDA-sponsored expansion of Clonmel Healthcare was announced. It is due to create 200 jobs in the Co Tipperary town.

Thursday

The latest Central Statistics Office figures showed that the annual rate of inflation is running at more than 2 per cent for the first time in 2 1/2 years. The data showed a 0.5 per cent monthly rise in March, higher than most forecasters had anticipated.

A standard recommendation for assessing hearing disability, expected to be presented to the courts in Army deafness cases, was published by the Department of Health.

The Garda fraud bureau investigation into allegations of overcharging by the banks has finalised 75 of the more than 400 inquiries it has begun and decided they should not be taken any further.

Ireland clinched a place in the final of the Rugby Youth Cup in France after a surprise semi-final victory over the favourites, Argentina.

The Democratic Unionist Party, led by the Rev Ian Paisley, held a protest outside Castle Buildings as the Stormont talks continued past the midnight deadline.