News in Brief-Optimistic Irish Love Their Mammies

The Social Welfare system has come into disrepute as a small group of staff members are investigated for diverting funds. This socially unfair practice has seen money transferred to personal bank accounts as well as “unworthy applicants” with eight cases handed to the Public Accounts committee.

The Workers Party, The Socialist Workers Party and the People Before Profit Alliance probably wouldn’t mind a cash injection. The three have informed Gardai they were in receipt of no funding last year, as it emerged Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Labour did not receive any donations over €5,000 making the plans for this year’s Christmas Party look a little sad. Well, times are hard lads.

So hard in fact the one and two cent coins may be on the way out. According to the National Payments Plan, published yesterday by the Central Bank, one Irish town should be chosen to test the removal of the annoyingly small coins. All well and good you may say, no more pockets and purses weighted down with coppers, however it will mean prices will now be rounded to the nearest five cent. Pockets and purses will certainly be lighter, they’ll be even more empty.

Apologies NIB isn’t feeling very optimistic although apparently the future’s bright! According to a study by researchers at the University of California, Irish people are the most optimistic in the world! Young, educated, financially secure women scored the highest, probably because they are all currently enjoying Oz or Canada and don’t have to listen to the dire dross on the news everyday.

The Oxegen line-up hasn’t sparked much enthusiasm either. Announced this week, after a year off for the festival at Punchestown, the €150 weekend was met with some less than optimistic responses. Some kind of DJs will be providing some kind of music, there’s the promise of over-priced warm beer and the inevitable rain. Personally NIB will be enjoying a lovely can in the garden whilst being hosed down and humming.

It’s not just optimism Ireland is famous for. We do love our mammies. A 24 year old man recently arrested in Derry told police officers “If you touch me I will tell my ma”. After arriving at Strand Road police station in an inebriated state, Gary Deehan told members of the PSNI “I don’t give a f***” (very optimistic). when asked why he was there Mr Deehan continued to reiterate his lack of care until he was taken into custody. District Judge Barney McElholm fined the young man €100 and described his comment as “my favourite remark”.

Obviously you can tell the optimism has got to NIB, now to drain that half-empty glass and weep.

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