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Liberals need to get real, ID cards, tendered this week for 3m of us, are a brilliant idea

The tender was agreed this week for the company charged with providing ID cards to three million citizens. The roll-out will begin later this year. While storing basic information like photo, name and PPS number, it is also potentially capable of holding DNA and fingerprints.

Naturally, the civil liberties groups are up in arms. Cracking down on welfare fraud is not top of their agenda. The poor little diddums who wants to get State freebies he is not entitled to must be allowed have a go, after all.

ID cards are not only a good idea -- they are essential. Victims of accidents can be identified immediately; underage kids can be stopped from buying alcohol and cigarettes; perpetrators of crime can be caught more easily. What's not to like?

The old adage applies: if you haven't done anything wrong, you won't mind carrying one. Most other countries have ID cards and people just accept it. Some call it the nanny state, but surely Ireland could do with a bit of nannying at the moment?

I, for one, will carry mine happily and be pleased to show it to any authorities who request it. Maybe it will also let us cut down on all the other paraphernalia we carry around to avail of State services.