#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 10°C Monday 27 September 2021

Prime numbers: the week in stats

How ‘special’ can a special adviser be? How many As can a credit rating have? And just how expensive can pneumonia be?

Image: DrBacchus via Flickr

EVERY WEEK,TheJournal.ie offers you a selection of statistics and numerical nuggets to help you digest the week that has just passed.

6 – The number of ministers who appointed special advisers on wages above the suggested €92,000 amount in 2011. In one case – that of Simon Coveney’s adviser Fergal Leamy – that wage scale was broken by almost €40,000, only for Leamy to quit the job and emigrate within five months.

2 – The number of times that the letter ‘A’ features in the credit rating of bonds issued by the EU’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility. It was downgraded on Monday, from AAA to AA, by Standard & Poor’s. The bond markets didn’t mind.

2.5 per cent – The amount by which the cost of living rose in Ireland in 2011, according to CSO figures. Prices fell by 0.3 per cent in December. When measured by European formulas, the cost of living rose by 1.4 per cent – around half of the 2.7 per cent of the eurozone.

6 years – The jail term given to ‘Lying Eyes’ killer Sharon Collins after she hired Essam Eid to kill her partner in 2005. Eid was also hired in the US by Marissa Mark for a similar task – and this week Mark was given an identical six-year sentence.

$44.8 million – The bill sent to an unemployed New Yorker after being hospitalised with pneumonia. Thankfully, the massive bill was issued in error.

€30 million – The advertising revenue TV3 claims it may have lost as a result of RTÉ’s ‘share deal’ sales technique. Under that scheme, RTÉ gave advertisers heavy discounts if their RTÉ spend formed a certain amount of their entire Irish advertising budget. TV3 claimed the scheme, which will now be rescinded, effectively penalised advertisers for taking out airtime on other channels.

1,528,000 – The average viewership of the Late Late Toy Show last year, the most-watched programme in Ireland since 1994. The second-most popular show of 2011 was Jedward’s turn in the Eurovision, which drew 1,182,000 viewers.

12 – The number of Euro members whose assent is needed in order for the new fiscal treaty to come on board, according to drafts circulating on Thursday and Friday.

521 - The number of MEPs who voted to criticise the new treaty in the European Parliament this week – causing outgoing Labour MEP Proinsias de Rossa to warn that MEPs could reject it if it diluted the parliament’s power.

3,754,000 – The number of referendum ballot papers the OPW wants printed. It’s not looking for ballot papers for an EU referendum though – it claims it needs to book a printer for referendums just in case any are needed in the next four years.

£35,000 – The amount spent by London’s Metropolitan Police service on calls to the speaking clock over the last three years.

30 – The number of navigational satellites being launched into space over the coming decade, as part of the European Space Agency’s €20 billion ‘Galileo’ programme. One of those is being named after a 10-year-old from Swords.

$14.99 – The maximum price of books being sold through the new textbook section of Apple’s iBookstore, as part of the technology giant’s efforts of cornering the schoolbook market.

Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces >

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

Read next: