HERE’S A GUESSING GAME for your office or dinner table this evening: how many people in Ireland are expected to turn 100 this year?
Enda Kenny gave us the answer at an Oireachtas committee hearing today, when TDs gave their formal approval to the budget for the Office of the President for the 2012 financial year.
The President’s Establishment is being funded to the tune of €3,002,000 for this year – with about a third of this cash being reserved for the ‘Centenarians’ Bounty’, the gift presented to anyone living in the State when they turn 100.
The payment, of €2,540, comes alongside with a congratulatory letter from the President. It is ordinarily presented to the recipient by a personal friend on the President’s behalf.
This year Kenny expects 388 people to receive the bounty – that’s less than 0.01 per cent of the estimated population of 4,581,269 as provided in the last census.
Former recipients of the bounty also receive a specially minted coin for every birthday after their 100th, with a new coin commissioned every year.