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News in Brief-United We Stand,Divided We Fall

This week we (well, not me) waved goodbye to Westlife. The fab four retired from the limelight with a farewell concert at Croke Park supported by our favourite twins who perhaps for one week should remain nameless. Never before have four men hopped off stools so diligently (and so many times), whilst the two blonde ones didn’t miss a background note and the brunettes sang someone else’s song.

As well as the eighty thousand fans that filled the stadium the concert was also broadcast across cinemas in Ireland and the UK which is presumably where old member, Brian McFatOne, sorry, McFadden, watched stoically, tears lining his cheeks. He taught them that stool move and not one of them said thank you . . .
It looks like detention for Shane Filan though who will continue to be managed by Louis Walsh as he launches his solo career as the ‘male Adele’ in a bid to reverse his bankruptcy.
 
Many Ulster Bank customers have faced their own financial difficulties over the last two weeks after a ‘technical fault’ at the bank left many payments unprocessed and some accounts empty. Today, Ulster Bank staff are still trying to clear the backlog of unprocessed transactions, now extending their prediction of resumed normal service to the beginning of next week. It’s a good job we’re used to not relying on our banks anymore otherwise this newest failure on their part may have come as a surprise.
 
Talking of Jimmy Carr’s unprocessed tax transactions – we were weren’t we? – the controversy has sparked debate on this side of the water as well. Whilst we know certain superstars of our own *cough-Bono-cough* have made use of off-shore, legal, tax reduction measures it is unlikely they will face a barrage like Carr as the Irish economy relies in part on the income of the `legitimate tax avoidance measures` we offer global companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple .
 
 . . So moving swiftly on.
 
Two newly weds in Cork had trouble with a gatecrasher at their wedding, at the Castlemartyr Resort where Bill Clinton also happened to be staying. Mr Howard, who is from Killavullen in north Cork and Ms Seamans, from Minneapolis in the US, where both more than happy to squeeze the former President into a wedding snap. Now that’s one for Facebook.
Another couple who may soon be updating their statuses are the Queen and Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness who cemented their friendship this week with a lovely, long handshake.
 
There’s no love lost between the Queen and Martin McGuinness, his former affiliates blew up her cousin, she’s the Queen. That’s just how it is. Or was. But after Wednesday, when they met in matching colours and shook hands not once, but twice for the assembled press it seems Anglo-Irish relations may be on the up. Or not. McGuinness was quick to reassure, ‘I’m still a Republican.’ Maybe it’s still more ‘complicated’ than ‘in a relationship’.
 
 
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