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Prime Numbers

Gas, Gardaí and Tiny Dancers: The week in numbers

Just how popular IS the DublinBikes system? And how many spheres does a sex toy need to win approval from the ECJ?

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

29 – The approximate percentage of a Tesco ‘everyday value beef burger’ which was actually horse meat, according to tests by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. Beef suppliers believe they have traced the source of the horse meat to a supplier in continental Europe.

132 – The total number of non-Algerian citizens who were taken hostage by an Islamist militia group on Wednesday. One of them was Stephen McFaul, who luckily escaped when his Jeep was the only one not bombed while some prisoners were being moved.

357 per cent – The amount by which natural gas disconnections increased in 15 months, according to figures disclosed this week. The Commission for Energy Regulation says 519 people were disconnected in the first quarter of 2011 – but 2,373 were disconnected in the second quarter of 2012.

95 – The number of Garda stations closing in two weeks’ time, as part of a cutback in overall station numbers following a 3.8 per cent cut to the Garda budget  for 2013.

€70.9 billion – The amount Irish banks owe to the European Central Bank. That might sound like loads, but it’s actually the least since September 2008 – and only just over half of the amount they owed the ECB when Ireland went into its bailout in November 2010.

5,734 – The number of DublinBikes journeys taken on December 5 last year. Dublin City Council said yesterday that this had set a new record for the number of journeys undertaken in a single day.

1 – The number of heroin seizures in Irish history bigger than the one in Naas earlier this week. The €3.5 million haul on Thursday is bettered only by a IR£3m, 15-kilo haul in Dublin in 2001.

3 – The number of spheres in a novel design for a female pleasure device which was the subject of a ruling at the European Court of Justice this week. (No, really.)

99.59 per cent – The amount by which your shares in HMV would have fallen in value if you’d bought them in February 2005. Shares were worth over £270 then, but were worth merely £1.10 each when trading was suspended earlier this week as the chain fell into administration. You could now buy every single share on the market for a mere £4.73 million – though by controlling the company you’d also be taking on net debts of £163 million.

3 per cent – The raise that retail staff in Dunnes Stores are getting, after the chain agreed to union demands instead of going to a Labour Court hearing. It’s the first raise for staff in over five years.

€27,000 – The approximate amount owed to the charity group behind the ‘Tiny Dancer’ song – in aid of a four-year-old cancer sufferer – by HMV. Deloitte, who are now managing HMV’s affairs, say they are looking at trying to get the money paid “as a matter of urgency”.

One in three – The number of households that have a total annual income of less than €30,000, according to research from the trade union-backed Nevin Economic Research Institute.

30 – The number of Bills the government says it expects to get published before the end of April. Here’s the list in full, and our guide to what’s contained in them.

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

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