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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 1°C
In Numbers

Prime numbers: The week in stats

Debts, draw-downs, state assets and lunar rock – all of that, and more, in your weekly numerical wrap-up.

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

157.0 – The price in cent of the average litre of petrol in Ireland, according to stats provided by the AA. The price of diesel has meanwhile hit 154.4 cent per litre. The AA says each price is an all-time record – and fears that prices could keep rising towards €2 per litre unless the government cuts excise duties.

€141,000 – The amount the European Commission decided it would take back from Ireland last weekend, as part of an effort to recoup cash which was unduly spent by EU members in their agricultural sectors. €137,000 was ‘misapplied’ as funding for rural development, while €4,000 was recouped because the storage of sugar and cereals did not meet minimum requirements.

€10 million – The amount one Senator says the government could save if the Oireachtas moved to a cloud-based email system. Catherine Noone wants the government to move to a Gmail-style email platform, which has already cut 70 per cent off IT costs at the Danish parliament.

$5 million – The (possible) value of a small chunk of rock sitting in a dump in Finglas. A piece of rock collected by the men of Apollo 11 was in Dunsink Observatory when it was destroyed by fire – and the piece of rock ended up in the dump across the road. “Reasonable” prices of $5m for a 1.142g lump of lunar rock have previously been offered.

235 – The number of teaching posts at DEIS schools which had originally been earmarked for closure, but which will now be saved after Ruairí Quinn U-turned on one of his most controversial Budget proposals. 193 jobs will still be closed, but to make up the rest of the funding shortfall, DEIS schools will instead have their main grants cut.

€11,485.06 – The amount of new debt with which every man, woman and child in Greece will be saddled after the EU and IMF agreed the terms of a second, €130 billion bailout for the country. Even with that cash, and with major austerity measures, Greece’s national debt will be 120.5 per cent of its national economy in 2020.

€654.85 – The amount that the Irish government hopes to earn for each man, woman and child in the country by selling off the Bord Gais energy business, some of the ESB’s power stations, timber on Coillte sites and the government’s stake in Aer Lingus. Those sales aim to bring in €3 billion – but two thirds of it will go towards paying the national debt, leaving €218.28 invested in job creation for each person.

€264 million – The total value of all domestic mortgage applications that Bank of Ireland says it received in 2011. By comparison, it says it’ll be making €1.5 billion available to borrowers this year.

48 – The number of debtors dealing directly with NAMA who have been identified as having moved assets abroad or into the names of family members, hoping to put them beyond reach. In 31 cases those transfers have already been reversed. That accounts for over a quarter of the 188 debtors directly under NAMA control.

17 – The combined age of the perpetrator and victim at a shooting in a school in Washington state on Thursday. A 9-year-old boy brought a gun to school, and it discharged accidentally in his backpack – causing serious injury to an 8-year-old girl in his class.

251,455 – The average number of copies of the Sunday World sold each week, according to data for the second half of last year. That makes it the country’s best-selling newspaper, pipping the Sunday Independent which had previously held the title. Its circulation is now at 250,641.

IR£62.32 – The average amount of old Irish punts that each person in Ireland still has hoarded. The Central Bank says IR£285 million of old cash remains unaccounted for – though it still exchanges around €10,000 worth of old Irish currency every day.

30 seconds – You might joke that the Seanad doesn’t do much with its time, but on Thursday it agreed that it would make a point of spending 30 seconds observing total silence. The silence will proceed the daily prayer that begins proceedings, and offers a moment for members to reflect in a secular manner before beginning the day’s business.

Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces >