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Radio review: All these millions and billions are too much for us to compute

Darragh McManus’s week on the radio 

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Leo Varadkar appeared on The Pat Kenny Show to talk about the cost of MetroLink. Photo by Damien Storan

Leo Varadkar appeared on The Pat Kenny Show to talk about the cost of MetroLink. Photo by Damien Storan

Leo Varadkar appeared on The Pat Kenny Show to talk about the cost of MetroLink. Photo by Damien Storan

Millions, billions, even trillions: the sort of numbers thrown around in discussion of public finances are so large, they’re essentially without meaning for the average human mind.

Take this week’s comments from Leo Varadkar (The Pat Kenny Show, Newstalk, Mon-Fri, 9am) about the cost of MetroLink in Dublin potentially rising to €23bn. That’s 23 BILLION — a sum so large, it’s virtually incomprehensible. The Tánaiste may as well have said “795 squillion gajillion” for all the context our brains are able to give it.


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