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Gouda news story: the free cheese is out there

As bailout tension rises, free cheese begins winging its way to the needy.

IT’S GOUDA NEWS for those on the free cheddar list – the great cheese giveaway has begun. Over 330 charities began yesterday to help distribute the free cheese allocated to needy families and individuals by the Government.

Around 53 tonnes of the cheese have been bought from the Irish Dairy Board for distribution up until Christmas, at a cost of €750,000 to the EU. Agriculture Minister Brendan Smith announced the cheesy bonus a day after the Government confirmed that this year’s Budget cuts would be €6 billion.

The cheese is being picked up in boxes of 12kg blocks from stores in Portlaoise, Waterford, Cork and Clondalkin in Dublin.

While Twitter punsters and Opposition politicians had fun making wordplay on the announcement earlier this month – “He can’t brie serious”, etc. – the free cheese scheme is actually an annual event. This year, however, was the first time a press release was issued about it. The other difference, according to Smith, is that the cheese itself won’t come from EU stocks.

Thankfully at the minute there’s no such sotcks in intervention but it allows us to go out and purchase, from the Irish Dairy Board, Irish cheese and make it available to voluntary organisations who will distribute it to those people who can benefit from such a measure.

At the time of the Agriculture Minister’s announcement, Fine Gael’s Andrew Doyle said that the press release about it proved “that they think that providing free cheese will soft-soap the electorate and make us all forget the mess Fianna Fail made of the country and the hardship Brian Lenihan will inflict on everyone. It won’t.”

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