From the Papers

Mental Health

He is a psychiatrist, a professor in that slippery world. ‘Every family has someone in mental distress at the moment’, he was quoted as saying in one of the Irish newspapers. Every family! It was his contribution to the 21st century’s latest discovery: mental health. There we were, believing that life was good and the spuds were planted before St Patrick’s day and we didn’t realise that a member of our family had a mental health problem.

Hutch v Kinahan

The feud goes on. Last month, a Kinahan hitman named Caolan Smyth was sentenced to 20 years for attempting to kill another man. The latter survived the attempt because he had a necessary protection in the kind of world the two men inhabited: a bullet-proof vest. Smyth was quoted as saying to his family members, ‘Five World Cups and I’ll be out’, which at least shows that he can do simple division of numbers.

By the Numbers

Ireland has had more than 4000 deaths due to Covid-19. In Australia, with a population more than five times greater, the corresponding number is less than 1000. Comment seems unnecessary.

Goodbye, Ulster Bank

Nat West, the owner of Ulster Bank, will close all their 88 branches in the Republic of Ireland. They have more than a million customers in the country and 2800 staff, and the bank is the third-largest in the country. Their business will be divided between AIB and the government-owned Permanent TSB (what used to be the Irish Permanent).

But wait, there’s more

The Bank of Ireland are getting into the bank-closing business too. They are closing 88 branches in the Republic, about one-third of their outlets. They have made arrangements with An Post to carry out some simple tasks for them like cash withdrawals and cheque lodgements (remember cheques?), an arrangement that AIB also has with An Post. As an example, the following towns in Co. Cork will lose their BOI: Bantry, Cobh, Dunmanway, Kanturk, Mitchelstown, Millstreet, and Youghal. It appears that we should not be too shocked as they are doing what AIB did after the financial crash some ten or so years ago.