From the Papers

New Rules for sale of alcohol.

Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

The Irish government has introduced new rules for the sale of alcohol. These involve banning alcohol products as part of loyalty programs and the use of schemes like ‘buy six and get 25% off’. The other element that the government is trying to introduce is minimum pricing for alcohol, but this will await cooperation from north of the border. Alcohol Action Ireland has welcomed the changes.

Cost of living

The Cost of Living Index by country shows Ireland as the 13th most expensive country to live in. These indices are published periodically as a snapshot of comparison between different countries. The top three most expensive countries are Jersey, Bermuda and Switzerland, followed by Norway, Iceland and Denmark. The index is based on cost of consumer goods, transport and utilities but does not include cost of housing and accommodation. For the record, Australia is the 12th most expensive country.

Figures on Drugs

‘A survey conducted on behalf of the Department of Health in 1982 made the alarming discovery that the rates of heroin addiction in Dublin’s north inner city were worse than those among New York’s African-American community in 1970 when the epidemic was at its height during the Vietnam War.’ From The Monk (Paul Williams) which will be reviewed here later in the year.

The Famine as PR success

The new leader of the British Labour Party is Keith Starmer. He noted that US President Joe Biden was a descendant of people who fled Mayo during the Great Famine. Where most public relations experts might not want to highlight that fact as a plus in US-UK relations, Mr Starmer was in no way shy about it, touting it as a positive for the future of the the relationship between the two countries.

Cash-for-Residency

Known officially as the Immigrant Investment Programme (IIP), it was launched in 2012, encouraging foreigners to invest in Ireland. The applicant must have net worth of €2 million and be able to invest half of that in one of a number of specified Irish industries or charities (where the requirement is less). Since it was set up, 21 US citizens have taken up the scheme and a smaller number from Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and other countries. But the champions are the Chinese, who account for over 1000 of the 1166 successful applicants. The scheme offers residency rights but not citizenship rights.

The Rathkeale Rovers

They might sound like a soccer team but are in fact a group of criminals selling fake Covid-19 tests that allow people to travel to places that are supposed to be closed to them. Europol said that the group are using a mobile app to generate false certificates which are being sold at airports for €150 or online for a quarter of this. It is suggested that their various businesses have expanded to America and Australia.

Internet site of the Month

The url tells you what it is, https://www.independent.ie/videos/gardai-across-ireland-respond-to-jerusalema-dance-challenge-from-swiss-police-in-bid-to-lift-nations-spirits-40041152.html