Tuesday 25 October 2016

How to spend the €335m

Published 01/06/2015 | 02:30

One figure stood out in all the talk about airlines this week. (For once, it wasn't Michael O'Leary.) That figure was €335m. It's the amount that would go into the state coffers following the sale of Aer Lingus. (It's also the price of a return ticket to Heathrow in 1987, but that's another story.) What are we going to do with all that money? Leaving it lying around for the government to spend in the run-up to an election is like giving a cattle-prod to a toddler. You'd just be tempting fate. Something needs to be done before the public sector unions get their hands on it.

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There was a time when a sum like that could be used to persuade certain people that we should be allowed to host the World Cup. Unfortunately it looks like that game is up after the events in Zurich this week. The good news is that every gay couple in the world is now planning to come here and get married. It looks they might even get extra flights if the Aer Lingus deal goes through.

The only problem is the weather. It's starting to look like the Irish summer could be summed up in the phrase '12 degrees and showery.' There is no point in being liberal and all that if we are going to remain stuck in a perpetual October. There is only one solution to this. A roof. You'd probably get a decent roof over the whole country for that price. You could always leave out Roscommon and South Leitrim if funds are running low. Our guess is that neck of the woods won't be overrun with gay weddings. What are we waiting for? Let's get building.

Pat Fitzpatrick

Sunday Independent

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