Friday, 22 March 2013

Eye on the Hill

A lot more work to be done…
PRESIDENT Barack Obama – that’s the guy in charge of the US of A for those not paying attention – has declared more work needs to be done here in Norn Iron.

As he hosted the globe-trotting First Minister and Deputy First Minister Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness on the latest stop in their world tour, Obama greeted them in the Oval Office for St Patrick’s Day.

The dynamic duo will be returning to Norn Iron in sufficient time for the Easter Assembly Recess…the two weeks MLAs enjoy following their hard work since Christmas and after their own day off for St Patrick’s Day.

Then our elected representatives have that long slog until they reach the May Day Bank Holidays, which should tide them over until their several summer weeks off.

Even teachers are looking on enviously…

However, with unemployment figures rising again, one Stormont Minister was at least able to announce one growth sector.

Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry this week opened the new Job Centre Offices in Cookstown.

The new centre offers a “spacious, welcoming and professional environment for customers” who are known as the unemployed in less politically correct circles.

See the Assembly at its busiest
STUCK for something to do over the Easter Holidays? Fear not, you can take friends, family and distant relatives on a free tour of Parliament Buildings at its busiest…during recess when most MLAs are ensconced safely back in their constituencies.

Yes, the iconic big white house at the top of the hill is running free hourly tours Monday to Friday between 10am and 3pm.

You can now head up to the big house without any fear of bumping into an MLA trying to do you a favour to earn an extra vote.

You’ll get to see the chamber where MLAs sometimes turn up to make laws, or slag off the other side in a pointless debate that one side or another has tried really hard to be offended by.

Great G8
THIS week we learned that the G8 will be Gr8 for Norn Iron.

In written answers to MLAs’ questions the dynamic duo of Peter Robinson and Martin McGuiness emailed from their latest stop on their worldwide tour to tell the Assembly that Invest NI and the Norn Iron Tourist Board will be pulling out all the stops to bring long term economic benefits to Fermanagh Council and the rest of the wee country.

Short term benefits will include those for event management companies, catering companies and transport firms.

It was also revealed that around 2,000 members of the media are expected to be present.

We hope that at least half of them will be reporting on the G8 summit and not looking for a recreational riot to beam worldwide. Even if they don’t find one at least we can expect it to be one hell of a bar bill!

Irish language and the tale of the chip shop
IS there something deeply ingrained in the national psyche of Irish Language speakers that attracts them to deep fried food.

Of course the entire population of Norn Iron likes a feed of food fried in lard, but details emerged this week of a specific penchant amongst Irish speakers for the food that beckons a cardiac arrest.

In a written Assembly Answer it was revealed that help has been given by Foras na Gaeilge to erect Irish language signage at: Brown’s Chippy, The Village Chippy, and Barnes Fish and Chip Shop.

At least those in search of a battered sausage need never worry about finding the right place if they only speak Irish.

Previously only the smell of freshly frying fish had helped direct their quest.

But fear not Ulster Scots speakers, because money is being spent on your fair tongue too!

Tourism iApps are being developed and a scoping study is being held to establish a baseline of present pipes and drums to establish if tourists can be attracted to the skirl of the pipes. We wonder about this as we’re pretty sure we sent bagpipes to Scotland as a joke and the Scots haven’t got the joke yet…