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3rd May 1996 at 01:00
Patrick Reilly, professor of English literature at Glasgow University, played his part in the sub-plot of the conference, by which one means anything to do with the fortunes of Celtic.

"I would no more expect a Scottish politician to tell the truth than a Scottish referee to order off Paul Gascoigne," he mused to much approval.

Approval, of course, is also a good Catholic term in teaching, with a different meaning.

The dangers to Catholic schooling, Reilly continued, were no longer from organisations like the Orange Order. This was not a reference to a well-known football-playing flute player. "To worry about looking out for aggressive Presbyterianism is like looking out for Viking longboats coming up the Clyde."

The future, described as "a dangerous place to inhabit", was far from certain when the dangers were from within. "It's only a few years ago we were talking about the dangers of apartheid, the Berlin Wall, the Soviet Empire . . . or the Cambuslang project," Reilly continued to thunderous approval.

For the record, Celtic have not moved from Paradise to the south-east of the city.

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