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We love telly; PICK OF THE DAY.

Byline: MAEVE QUIGLEY

SCANNAL RTE ONE, 7.30pm

IN February 1994 the Blood Service Transfusion Board held a press conference.

Most journalists had never been inside its Pelican House headquarters before.

And they had no idea what to expect, but what was to come was about to rock the nation.

The board announced some women had been infected with Hepatitis C by contaminated blood products manufactured by the board itself.

They assured the public that the number of women likely to have been affected was small and they mentioned some possible health effects of Hepatitis C including jaundice.

But as the truth was forced from a reluctant bureaucracy over the following years, it became clear that this was Ireland's biggest health scandal.

Contrary to the impression given at that first press conference, more than a thousand people have been infected with Hepatitis C as a result of the negligence of the BTSB.

It is a potentially life-threatening disease and to date at least 146 people have died as a result of this scandal.

The best-known of these, Donegal woman Brigid McCole took a High Court case against the State and the BTSB with the intention of forcing full disclosure.

However the State and the BTSB opposed her every step of the way, even as she lay on her deathbed.

After her death the story of how she was treated became a political and public controversy. Then-Health Minister Michael Noonan eventually bowed to public pressure and announced both a statutory compensation tribunal for the victims of the Hep C scandal and a tribunal of inquiry into its causes.

Scannal tells a story of shocking failures and even negligence on the part of the organisation charged with protecting the nation's lifeblood.

Those responsible have never been convicted or held accountable, while the victims suffer a life sentence.

WE LOVE DOCUMENTARY

24 HOURS TO KILL TV3, 9pm

ANOTHER grisly murder is put under the microscope by the TV3 team.

Tonight, it covers the last 24 hours in the life of Romanian man Adrian Bestea, 21, who was murdered in Dublin in 2001.

He was beaten to death by a gang who stuffed his body into a suitcase and dumped it into the Royal Canal.

The programme reveals how his girlfriend Marina Sourovtzeva asked some men to evict Bestea from her flat, saying he had been violent towards her.

But things spiralled out of control and the men hired to teach Bestea a lesson brutally killed him.

The killing was so brutal and barbaric it left both seasoned detectives and members of the public reeling in shock.

Marina Sourovtzeva was handed a two-year jail sentence for false imprisonment.

Two Ukrainians were also jailed after being convicted of falsely imprisoning the victim.

WE LOVE REALITY

COPPERS C4, 9pm

WHILE the latest series of Whitechapel on UTV continues on its increasingly daft way, the real-life crime fighters in Coppers provide far better entertainment.

This week we're on the job with Nottinghamshire's Armed Response Unit who reveal the responsibilities of being licensed to carry a lethal weapon on British streets.

Unlike Whitechapel, criminals who are slavishly recreating notorious murders from the 19th century or mysteriously disappearing from locked police cells turn out to be surprisingly thin on the ground.

Instead we follow armed officers as they detain a man accused of threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and arrest a woman for confronting a former friend with a pistol.

Officers also talk about why they believe all front line officers should have access to tasers. Their use is controversial but one armed officer describes them as "the best thing we've got".

WE LOVE SOAPS

EMMERDALE TV3, 7pm

CARL King may think he's the sharpest deal-maker in the Dales, but he's an amateur compared to Rodney Blackstock, who's got him over a barrel tonight. Meanwhile after yet another bust-up with Amy, Val resolves to close the book on the baby Kyle saga and try and move on - with or without Eric.

CORONATION STREET TV3 7.30pm & 8.30pm

JUST when Carla thought she'd seen the last of Frank Foster, he breezes back into the Underworld factory expecting to pick up where he left off as though nothing has happened.

Perhaps Carla could put up a partition wall down the middle of the factory like Steve has done at Number 13 - although this still isn't helping him get shot of Tracy, who tries to freeze him out tonight.

EASTENDERS RTE ONE, 8pm

CATFIGHT! Mandy attacks New Lucy in the Queen Vic tonight for trying to sabotage her wedding day.

And Walford's other bride-to-be, Heather, is having a bad day too, being bullied by Andrew's cow of a mother.

Elsewhere, in the war over Amy, peace breaks out between Jack and Roxy as they share a bottle of wine and a snog on the sofa.

DON'T MISS YOUR FANTASTIC TV MAG FREE IN THE MIRROR ON SATURDAY

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CAPTION(S):

SCANDAL BTSB office at Pelican House GUILTY Marina Sourovtzeva FRONT LINE Armed police speak out FURY Lucy and Mandy lock horns in the Queen Vic
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2012
Words:850
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