"A billion euro," someone said to me recently, "What's that? I think most people find it hard to get their heads around it."
"Simple!", sez I; "A billion euro is exactly €100,000 relief each for 10,000 of our many badly stressed mortgage-holders; or if you prefer, it's the amount AIB - one of the several banks we were forced to buy out by the ECB - will pay to one unsecured unguaranteed bondholder on Oct 1st, just over two weeks from now."
Take what Tough Reilly and his HSE are planning on cutting from the health service budget for the remainder of this year, the 600,000 hours of home help plus all the other various cold-hearted cuts, add it to the €700,000,000 in cuts the same Tough Reilly plans on taking from the HSE budget for next year, and you would still have enough change left over from a billion euro to either a) restore all the cuts to the Special Needs budgets for the next few years or b) fund a few Ministerial pensions.
How and why our national media insists on ignoring this ongoing obscenity, I've given up trying to fathom. What I have not given up on, and never will, is trying to get this information out there, for which we all now must depend on ourselves, on Twitter RTs, on Facebook sharing, on word of mouth.
What we in Ballyhea and Charleville haven't given up on either is our protest, Week 81 coming up this Sunday when we plan to take it further afield - a three-day crusade to Kildare Street, ending on Tuesday afternoon to coincide with the reconvening of the Dáil. If we're passing anywhere near a town near you, please join us.