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Savage i: Depressing irony of Dail's Lowry 'censure'

The Dail has censured Michael Lowry.

Oooohhh. A censure.

Glad that's all sorted out. Clearly he will now cease to be a politician and may actually disappear totally in a puff of shame. Or, alternatively, he may realise that 'censure' means absolutely nothing to anyone and just ignore it like the rest of us.

We should not, however, ignore the irony of the censure. The TDs have got together to denounce a man for -- among other things -- failing to apply due process in doing state business. One of the parties pushing the motion was Sinn Fein. When their TD Pearse Doherty was asked if he'd read the report he said no. When he was asked if anyone in Sinn Fein had read the report, he said he was sure some of them had read parts of it. So, a High Court judge spends 14 years of his life investigating one of the greatest corruptions in Irish political history and even the politicians don't read it. Then again, as Mick Wallace pointed out, it is a very long report.

A very long report which criticises the political system for not paying attention to very important things. Like reports.

Barack Obama isn't allowed to go to the North of Ireland without first going to London. This is daft.

Apparently, protocol says that a State visit has to start in the UK capital before going anywhere else. So the most powerful man in the world can drive up to Carlingford, wave at Warrenpoint and then have to go back to Dublin without even getting to pick up cheap booze in Newry. This is very appropriate though, as it'll give the US President a sense of what it's like to use Ireland's biggest airline. For the first time in history Air Force one will be like Ryanair.

"I'd like to go to Belfast please."

"Certainly Mr President, we'll be flying into Outer Belfast Regional Airport."

"Where's that?"

"A little place called Heathrow. Don't worry, Mr President. you'll get a bus transfer. It should only take 23 hours to get to Belfast city centre."

IT was a big day for the banks yesterday. They need quite a lot of money. Quite a lot. But all of the attention on the banking sector somewhat distracted from Anglo's results. It lost €17bn last year. That's €17,000,000,000. We are getting used to big numbers from the banks, but no matter how you look at it, that's a whopper. To put it in context, let's imagine someone earning the average industrial wage decided to try to pay off that debt by putting all their wages against it. It would take approximately 485,714 years. In other words, if you began earning money by selling woolly mammoth meat and skins in the Paleolithic era, you'd still have a few thousand years left on the payments. And you thought negative equity was tough.

Dublin zoo has yet to figure out if its new baby gorilla is a boy or a girl. For the sake of its future self esteem, let's hope it's a girl. Imagine being a male gorilla spending the rest of your life having people point at you and say 'it took nearly a week for them to spot that'.