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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 21 September, 2014

The Government’s provided us with this handy list of things to worry about

Better safe than sorry…

THE DEPARTMENT OF the Taoiseach’s produced an assessment of the risks — both financial and non-financial — faced by the country at the moment.

The reason? Better to be safe than sorry is, essentially, the sentiment behind the plan.

It was announced last year that the Government would publish a National Risk Assessment each year, to set out the risks faced by the country “and therefore ensure appropriate prevention and mitigation measures are introduced”.

According to the document’s preamble, it’s part of a response ”to failures in the past to identify and address risks beyond a short time horizon”.

The causes of the recent economic crisis were rooted in financial and fiscal risks that were in some cases overlooked before the onset of the recession.

One of the most authoritative overviews of the decline in Ireland’s fortunes has concluded that the absence of sufficient self-questioning lay at the heart of the underlying causes of the crisis.

Various institutions were too complacent about the sustainability of Ireland’s new-found prosperity and failed to ask whether this could be maintained in the face of adversity.

Consequently, any effort to avoid a recurrence of the crisis or other catastrophic events must be partly based on a broad-based assessment of the risks that Ireland faces and which is grounded in evidence-based judgments.

All Government Departments were asked for suggestions on what to include. And here’s what they came up with…

Can’t see it?

A lot to think about, isn’t it? But we’re being reminded that…

Risks are inherent to all activities and are faced by all countries, organisations and individuals and cannot be avoided. What matters is that there is an awareness of these risks and this is used to inform intelligent policy-making.

Not to mention that…

There are also upside risks, the potential that events will prove more favourable than the central forecast or expectation. These aren’t captured in this document, but provide a balance to the risks which are identified here.

If you fancy a little light bedtime reading, you can head on over the the Department of the Taoiseach and read the whole thing.

The Department’s also taking submissions on the draft list. Send them to nra@taoiseach.gov.ie by 30 June, if you must.

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