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Recession? You're having a laugh

YOU have to laugh, or you'd cry.

That's the formula for a major conference next month on the economic challenges facing us.

Mixed in with a lot of serious speakers will be stand-up comics like Des Bishop to lighten the gloom at the four-day event.

"We already have strawberry festivals and opera festivals, so we thought that given the state we're in it was time for Ireland's first economics festival for the ordinary public," said Michael McLoughlin of publishers Penguin Ireland, one of the organisers.

The event takes place in Kilkenny from November 11 to 14.

"We're calling it the Kilkenomics Festival and we're bringing in some big international economists like Ha-Joon Chang and Philippe Legrain," Mr McLoughlin said.

The big foreign names will be joined by home-grown commentators such as Constantin Gurdgiev, Brian Lucey, David McWilliams, Fintan O'Toole, Shane Ross and Olivia O'Leary.

"But we'll also have a comedic element, with Des Bishop, Colin Murphy and Barry Murphy," Mr McLoughlin added.

Irish Independent