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Thursday 23 November 2017

Scoop that skewered the sunbathers

IT was an expose that made politicians think twice before taking a junket in the sun.

As parts of the country weathered floods, six Fianna Fail MEPs escaped a dire Irish winter and jetted off to the Caribbean island of Guadaloupe for an all-expenses paid "study trip" in February 1995.

Hot on their heels were Eugene Moloney and photographer Tom Burke, who memorably confronted MEP Niall Andrews on the beach moments after he emerged from the sea following a swim.

"There were bad floods around Gort in Co Galway and (editor) Vinnie Doyle said 'here was a bunch of MEPs out in Guadaloupe looking to see how they grow bananas'," recalled Mr Burke.

"We found out they were staying in a luxury hotel. None of them would have recognised Eugene but they would have known me so he was looking out for them. He calls and says 'quick, they're out on the beach'. I drove over and someone shouted 'Niall' and bang, bang, bang, we got them."

Mr Burke said the trip -- dubbed "Cock-a-hoop in Guadaloupe" -- caused ructions and brought an end to such junkets.

Irish Independent

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