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As a reward for declaring that Einstein was responsible for enunciating the theory of evolution, the Tanaiste Mary Coughlan was appointed Minister for Education.
This week she began the reform of her sector by announcing at a public meeting that the number of VECs was to be halved. "Venereal Epidemic Controls will now be focused on 16 centres," she said, before a Department of Education civil servant shoved a half-brick in her mouth.
The Tanaiste apologised later for any confusion in her use of language. She had a cold. She had of course meant to say "Vocational Education Committees", just as she had meant to say Kirwan's Theory of Evolution, not Einstein's. Because Einstein was the fellow who wrote 'West Side Story'. Who could forget his wonderful song, and her favourite, for obvious reasons, "Maria. . . Maria. . . How do you solve a problem like Maria?" That was a question the Taoiseach was always asking of her, she joked, to a stony silence.