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Bail, bonds and old Facebook fogeys: The week in numbers

Just how long is the world’s longest kiss? And how do we know for sure that Valentine’s relics are in Dublin?

Image: Barrington Coombs/Everton FC

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

40o – The number of calls made to the Department of Justice’s support line for victims of Magdalene Laundries in the first day and a half of operation. The line was opened on Wednesday morning after the government made a formal apology to the women – and opened the hotline to register for a possible redress scheme – on Tuesday.

€85,468.60 – The amount that Oscar Pistorius has been asked to pay to bail himself as he faces court proceedings for allegedly murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The bail – of 1 million South African rand – compares to his annual salary of 5.6 million rand.

€828.88 - The average weekly industrial wage in Ireland in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to figures published by the CSO. The earnings of the average worker rose to €695.80 per week.

31.7 – The estimated length, in hours, of the average working week. This was published in the same figures.

0.24 per cent – The interest that Ireland will pay investors to borrow money for three months, under an auction this week. It’s the NTMA’s latest attempt at dipping its toes in the water before Ireland gets back to the bond markets in full later this year.

6 per cent – The maximum amount of hydrogen peroxide that can be used in a solution for cosmetic tooth whitening. The Irish Dental Association has expressed fears that some gels bought online – or even being administered by unregulated clinics in Ireland – are in breach of the rules, which stem from an EU directive.

66 per cent – The proportion of the Irish public who said Ireland’s current medical practice – where an expectant mother and her child are seen as two patients – should be protected and safeguarded. That’s according to a Pro Life Campaign poll, whose organisers said they deliberately opted against using the word ‘abortion’ as refusing to define the word led to “uninformed answers”.

€1.3 billion – The amount paid by the owners of Canada Life to buy Irish Life from the Government. The price is identical to the amount that the Minister paid Irish Life & Permanent (which he himself owns anyway) to split Irish Life from its parent company last year.

104 - The age of a woman who had to lie to make herself younger to sign up to Facebook. Marguerite Joseph got her granddaughter to sign her up, but the granddaughter had to round her age down because Facebook’s systems don’t permit birthdates from before 1910. Facebook says it’s working to fix the system.

0.5 per cent – The amount by which the cost of living fell in January. That’s unusually high deflation, but meant that the annual rate of inflation was still a moderate 1.2 per cent.

11 – The number of MEPs Ireland will have in the next European Parliament. That’s one down from the current 12 – and it’s falling because Ireland, along with other countries, has to make room for Croatia.

39 per cent – The proportion of eligible Irish families who will find themselves without the full amount of child benefit under proposals being considered by the government. Joan Burton has commissioned a report which recommends a ‘two-tier’ system of child benefit, which would be made taxable.

€1.67 million – The amount claimed in costs and expenses by Ireland’s judges in 2012. The amount is 42 per cent less than in 2008, and about €1.5 million of the amount was incurred by district and circuit court judges whose roles require travel between multiple courthouses.

Want more? Check out our previous ‘In numbers’ pieces>


About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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