A Light-hearted crystal ball look at 2004

Ciarán Cuffe TD looks into his Crystal ball and provides a wish list for 2004…Sunday Business Post 28th December 2003

January The flag-raising ceremony at Dublin Castle to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union on the first of January is marked by an unscheduled interruption. A misunderstanding between the Taoiseach Department and Dublin City Council leads to a busload of homeless people arriving for the ceremony, having been removed earlier from the main shopping streets of the Capital. In a departure from his set script, Bertie Ahern pledges to solve the problem of homelessness in Ireland, and Europe within six months.

February  Confusion reigns over decentralisation. Consultants from the Swiss Navy are engaged to advise on the relocation of the Department of the Marine to Cavan. Taoiseach’s Department decides to purchase ten Blackhawk helicopters to ensure Cabinet can avoid traffic jams in travelling to Departmental meetings. Tom Parlon announces 500 jobs for Birr.

March British Nuclear Fuels decides to move forward and produce wind turbines instead of nuclear energy. “This clear strategy will deliver both shareholder value and a new future direction for the business” according to a BNFL spokesperson.

April National Roads Authority announces that sustainability will now underpin all their activities. It announces a strategic alliance with Irish Rail in order to complete a rail link from Derry to Limerick. Minister Seamus Brennan announces that this is good news for Dundrum. Tom Parlon announces 500 jobs for Mountmellick.

May The Ombudsman for Children opens Dáil crèche. Seamus Brennan decides not to proceed with multi-storey car park on Leinster Lawn and under pressure from the Greens decides to plant grass instead. Additional bicycle parking provided at all Government offices.

June Local and European Elections held. Greens hold balance of power on several County Councils and insist on green bins and playgrounds prior to power sharing. Tom Parlon announces 500 jobs for Nobber, than retracts statement and announces 500 jobs for Portlaoise instead.

July Brian Cowen decides that Ireland will after all pledge itself to increasing aid to developing countries to .07 per cent of GNP by 2007. Tom Parlon states that this will result in real jobs in Offaly.

August Cabinet meeting in Bannagher, no job announcements.

September Tom Parlon announces 500 jobs for Clara.

October Cabinet decides to sell helicopters and devolve functions on a regional basis, rather than relocating existing Government Departments. Minister Éamon Ó Cuiv initially confused, but eventually welcomes the news. Massive decrease in national traffic levels ensues.

November Tom Parlon announces 500 jobs for Edenderry. The first Luas trams run and are pronounced a resounding success. Seamus Brennan decides he likes public transport, and promises to take a mainline train at some point in the future, as it would compliment his role as Minister for Transport.

December Environment Minister Martin Cullen announces zero-waste policy and sets up new Agency to promote waste reduction, re-use and recycling. In an unscripted comment he mentions that he might even bring back reusable glass milk bottles. Tánaiste Mary Harney clarifies that the five incinerators planned for midlands will deliver record jobs in Tom Parlon’s Constituency. Ivor Callely decides to save paper and not send any Christmas cards.

Sunday Business Post 28th December 2003, webpage published 10th January 2018