Sinn Fein

Alan Protheroe: Combative BBC executive who clashed with the Thatcher

Even taking into account the BBC's more recent traumas, the 1980s were the most turbulent decade in its history. Alan Protheroe played a central and often controversial role in the Corporation's bitter battles with Mrs.Thatcher's Government. With hindsight, it can be argued that the BBC suffered long-term damage because of his stubborn failure – along with that of senior colleagues – to recognise and allow for the increasing assertiveness of the politically appointed board of governors, reflecting a fundamental shift in the rules of engagement between Westminster and Broadcasting House.

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Ireland's austerity D-Day: How much pain can it take?

After years of savage cuts, the Irish now face a stark choice: do they hand over control of their economy to Europe – or go it alone without the safety net of future bailouts? In Cork, David McKittrick meets the people preparing to vote