The papal election from 1268 to 1271 was the longest in history. After two years of infighting, the magistrates of Viterbo locked the cardinals inside, reduced their food to bread and water and removed the roof over their heads.
A recent article (Irish Examiner, January 4) asked a timely question — “Could climate change pose a threat to our ability to produce electricity?” There is another real risk. A massive solar flare would have the magnetic power to trip electrical power grids worldwide.
When the banking catastrophe crashed upon the shores of Ireland, our Government nationalised the banks. We hear lately that they want to privatise those same banks again. The people of Ireland now rightly own the banks, although you would never think so.
The minimum wage became law in 2000. Eleven years elapsed before the Government capped the pay of senior civil servants at €200,000 per year. The income distribution statistics for 2011, compiled by the Revenue Commissioners, make interesting reading. Half of all taxpayers accounted for one-fifth of gross incomes.
In January, the GAA introduced the black card for cynical fouls in football. It has eliminated much of the pulling and dragging that blighted the game. Not counting replays or extra-time, the average score in games played in this year’s All-Ireland senior football championship is 35 points.