ESB bosses and unions continue talks in effort to avert Christmas blackout
TALKS between ESB management and union officials are continuing in a bid to avert the threat of power cuts. Sources last night described the talks as "sensitive".
Notice of industrial action was served on Friday. The notice period will expire on December 16 unless there is a breakthrough, raising the prospect of power cuts during the busiest shopping period of the year.
"The talks are ongoing between the two sides at the moment. They need to be given a chance," an ESB spokesman told the Sunday Independent yesterday.
Brendan Ogle, the group of unions general secretary, was not contactable. A message on his phone stated they have agreed to make no further public comment while "these sensitive discussions" are under way. See Page 28
APPEAL TO HOMELESS AFTER PARK MURDER
GARDAI investigating the murder of a man in the Phoenix Park are looking to speak with a number of people sleeping rough in the area, including a German couple.
The man, who was beaten with a blunt instrument before being set alight near the Wellington Monument in the early hours of Friday morning, has not been identified. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cabra gardai at (01) 6667400 or the Confidential Line 1800 666111.
TURNOUT AT LOYALIST PROTEST FALLS SHORT
UP to 2,000 loyalists took to the streets yesterday to protest against the decision by Belfast City Council last year to restrict the flying of the union flag at Belfast City Hall.
The march, organised by the Loyalist Peaceful Protesters, passed off without incident, but fell considerably short of the 10,000 allowed to take part by the Parades Commission.
DRIVER FOUND DEAD IN SUBMERGED CAR
A MAN in his 20s has died following a single-vehicle road incident in Kilmeage near Naas, Co Kildare. Gardai are not treating the incident as suspicious. A member of the public discovered the car, which was submerged in the canal at Newpark, around 10am yesterday.
Gardai in Naas are appealing for anyone who may have been in the vicinity to contact them at (045) 884300.
CELEBRATION OF LIGHT FOR SUICIDE VICTIMS
FAMILIES and friends of people lost through suicide will come together today at a sevent organised by national suicide prevention and bereavement charity, Console.
Over 1,000 people are expected at the Console Christmas Celebration of Light in St Patrick's College, Maynooth, at 4pm, which will include performances from some of Ireland's leading musicians including Niamh Kavanagh, Rebecca Storm and Eleanor Shanley.
Console offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide on freephone 1800 201 890. www.console.ie
CHRISTMAS CHILD PAGEANT DEAL STRUCK
ORGANISERS of a contentious child pageant have confirmed they have struck a deal to host a show in Cork.
Texas-based Universal Royalty previously announced it would stage a Christmas-themed pageant in Ireland on December 14. Pageant chiefs have revealed they have now booked a venue in Cork, but stressed they would keep the hotel's identity a secret until nearer the time.
A FAMILY GALA WILL LIGHT UP THE NCH
THE Dublin County Choir will stage a Christmas Family Gala at the National Concert Hall next Sunday, Dec 8, hosted by Niamh Murray with shows at 2.30pm and 7pm.
Children from the Billie Barry school, the Royal Irish Academy of Music concert band, choirs from St Brigid's National School and the Notre Dame junior choir will join the 120-strong main choir under the direction of John Dexter and Colin Block. Tickets from the NCH box office.
NO WINNER OF &EURO;2M LOTTO JACKPOT
THERE was no winner of last night's €2m Lotto jackpot. The numbers were 4, 5, 14, 25, 28, 31 (bonus 23).
The numbers in the Lotto Plus 1 draw were 1, 17, 19, 21, 28, 31 (bonus 10). The numbers in the Lotto Plus 2 draw were 1, 19, 20, 32, 33, 43 (bonus 5).
GAA HERO 'THE NATCH' GALLAGHER DIES
ONE of Ulster's greatest GAA players, Jim 'The Natch' Gallagher, died at the age of 84 in Sligo Hospital yesterday. Jim Gallagher, who lived at Coolcholly, Ballyshannon, played for Ulster and Donegal. He captained the county at Croke Park and to their first major trophy, the Dr Lagan Cup in 1952.
LIVING LEGEND AWARD FOR DICKIE ROCK
DICKIE Rock will be presented with the Variety Club of Ireland 'Living Legends Award' at a ceremony in the Grand Hotel in Malahide, Co Dublin, tonight.
It is the most prestigious award handed out by the variety clubs. Previous recipients have included Maureen Potter, Hal Roach, Fred O'Donovan and Terry Wogan.