Fine Gael appoint Minister for Happiness…

And, now I’ve heard it all. David Cameron wants a Happiness Index, now Fine Gael (rather belatedly) appoint a Minister for Happiness, the comedian Jarleth Regan. Presser below:

An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny, T.D., has announced the appointment of Mr. Jarlath Regan as the Minister of State with responsibility for happiness; a newly created Ministerial role.

The announcement follows regular comments and acknowledgments by An Taoiseach and Fine Gael during this year’s General Election that if elected, the focus would not only be on economic growth but also to ensure that the quality of life for all Irish people would improve for all, resulting in a happier and more productive country.

Mr Regan will be assigned to the Department of Health and will work alongside the Central Statistics Office and key officials from the Department of Health in establishing key areas that matter most to people’s happiness.  The happiness level will be measured through the Happiness Barometer; a qualitive and quantitative research project that will examine happiness levels in all areas of Ireland (county by county) over a 12 month period, starting in May.

The information gathered will then give the Government an overall picture of how life is improving for Irish people and help in re-evaluating priorities in life for Irish people.  The counties that fall under the national average will be treated as a priority for the newly appointed Government to ensure a better life for all is achieved over the next 2 years.


  • Henry94

    The fact that Kerry kept electing Healey Rae to the Dail election after election proves that its perpetually April 1st in that lovely but cooky little county 🙂

  • so not an April Fool then?

  • Pete Baker
  • Mick Fealty


    Would I?

  • Mick Fealty

    The new Minister might be interested in this: (Via YouTube, since 1911)

  • That’s interesting Pete. Should the new Minister be considering Ireland becoming a monarchy?

    Lord Inchiquin might fit the bill'Brien,_18th_Baron_Inchiquin

  • Mick Fealty

    And from the former Green TD for Dublin Mid West:

  • Pete Baker

    The Cedar Lounge Revolution is putting up a paywall…

  • Alas Seymour Major, my “friends” in the Jacobite (they havent gone away you know) world have only one true monarch.
    A special place in Hell is reserved for me.

  • About 1am, I nearly posted something and then realised the date and thought nobody will believe this as it looks like an April Fool.
    I see Ian Parsley blogged that he is standing in the Scottish Elections as a Conservative. I know. I know.

  • Munsterview

    Orwell……. “The fact that Kerry kept electing Healey Rae to the Dail election after election proves that its perpetually April 1st in that lovely but cooky little county…”

    First off for the record Jackie Healy Rae did not represent that ‘cooky little county’ as you rather quaintly but it, he was but one of three TD that represented South Kerry, the so Southern half of the County, and one of six TD from the county of Kerry as a whole.

    Secondly it would seem that you have bought into the ‘media image’ of Jackie, something I may I add that Jackie himself carefully cultivated. There is a long tradition in Kerry, and an appropriate one for the day that is in it, to ‘send a fool further’. Jackie knew what the national press were seeking, he played to their prejudice and gave it to them in spades on the premiss that while they were following the caricature, he was free to get on with what he was really up to without scrutiny.

    Jackie was an old Fianna Fail back-room man when that counted for something and he held the reins of the organization that returned the consistent strong electoral performance. When it came to time for jackie to get selected to run for a Dail seat, he had two main opposition sources : John O’Donoghue family who were also building up a political dynasty and, with good reason as it transpired, feared Jackie’s abilities.

    One dynasty would dominate and the Healy Raes have won that one hands down; Jackie’s grandson have just been co-opted on to Kerry Co Council to fill the seat vacated by Mike. The other opposition came from the Fianna Fail National back-room, they wanted empty suit poster boys and gals who were completely malleable, answerable only to the people who patronized them and managers rather than servants of the local organization. All the traits that brought Fianna Failed to its recent disaster.

    When Jackie went Independent he took a substantial part of the South Kerry Fianna Fail organization with him and they got out the vote. Jackie is a fine sax player from the old show band era and when he is in showman mode there is no better man to work a crowd, young or old alike. He is also a good local businessman and the success of his children speaks for itself.

    Jackie looked after his own constituency and was consistently seen as having an ability to ‘bring home the bacon’ It is pointless blaming Healy Rae or Lowery for their parish pump style of politics and the disservice or damage their style of politics did to politics as a whole. They did no more than work the system.

    When Lowery wiped out Fine Gael’s debt of over a million pounds in a little over a year too many of the old guard of Fine Gael, including Enda himself did not look too closely at how he did it. Indeed those of us with long political memories can remember Fine Gael sources lauding him as ‘our Charlie Haughey’

    Refusal to have a critical examination of the past is not confined to The North, in the South the main political parties also have a lot of sleeping dogs they would prefer to let lie. This also applies to public life, one prominent State functionary involved in the administration of Justice have made a name for himself as a scourge of drug barons, yet most of the Southern Press know that since his college days, this same individual have been a consistent user of recessional drugs including cocaine.

    This hypocrisy is all over Southern Public Life, Cowens alcoholism, as the late Brian Lenihans and Gerry Ryans cocain addiction, to give a few examples, were well known to media insiders, yet even now when the addictions of these people have brought disaster, there have been no serious exposure of the culture that tolerated this public sphere activity or allowed it to flourish.

    The old question is again posed : ‘ who watches the watchers’ in Ireland no one and especially where these ‘watchers’ have powerful backing and support from the media and legal apparatus of the State, as the late Billy Flynn found with the plethora of trumped up charges against him when he was exposing the Donegall Garda Scandal, opposing these people can be a very dangerous business indeed.

    Incidently the trumped up charges against Billy included the subversion and perversion of the Judicial process, a frequent occurrence in the South.( Martin Ferris had a three month Prison sentence imposed on him by Garda perjury in the District Court, soon after his Portlaois release under the GFA, yet in the Circuit Court appeal the State case collapsed and the State withdrew the charges. However if he did not appeal as the State were relying on, he would have gone to jail for three months on perjured evidence) yet there was no examination of the part the Judiciary played in facilitating the Donegall Garda Scandal, it was excluded from the terms of reference of the Inquiry.

    Healy Rae and Lowery may have milked the system, and come to typify ‘chancer politics’ but the system as a whole was there for the milking and there has been no examination, not will there be as to how this came about. The North is not the only place unwilling to have a critical examination of it’s past, and with good reason.

  • The Word


    ” ‘ who watches the watchers’ in Ireland ”

    Its almost as if you’re saying that Sinn Fein will supply an Irish version of MI5 that’ll serve to keep everyone on their toes.

    That’s simply a contortion of the reality that MI5 hadn’t really got a clue what was going on in its “domain”, somehow setting itself up in the North in the belief that it was defending the integrity of the British state against who -Sinn Fein, the dissidents or the SDLP?

    The truth is stranger than fiction, as you’ll know soon enough.

  • Mick Fealty

    MV, that would be over Ir£3 million in debt…

    (well I’d better take the ‘humour’ and “the day that’s in it’ tags off this post now, I suppose)…

  • Rory Carr

    On practically every Irish blog site I read nothing for months but that everybody would be deliriously happy if only Fíanna Fáil were sent packing. Now they’ve got their wish and these Free State $%&!s (if I may borrow from the lexicon of Twenty Major) are still unhappy.

    Some people are just destined to remain miserable. It’s back to An Béal Bocht.

  • Munsterview

    Could be right Mick, I remember the 1Million landmark wipe out part of the debt, as prior to that only FF had that capacity. It showed to all and sundary that the Fine Gael backroom people ‘had got with the programme’ and it was an indication of where FG were at and heading.

  • Munsterview

    Rory : may I remind also remind you that FG and Labor went before the electorate pledging to totally change everything : instead all we have got so far in National Financial policy is a continuation of Fianna Failed policy.

    This afternoon a longtime labour party member said that he would never again vote for the party because of their U turn. People voted for change, they got more of the same. Can you blame them for being pissed off at that?

  • Mick Fealty

    No they didn’t. My recollection is they said very little aboutwhat they would do. Only SF promised to burn the bondholders, which may be exactly what FG and Lab are about to do.

    3 Million was the figure being bandied by Vincent Browne at the time…

  • Munsterview

    Mick : Jeeze but you are in argumentative form to day! Unfortunately it will have to wait until after the weekend as I am about to take off and it will be read only until I get back to my desk.

  • Mick Fealty

    Last couple of days I’m afraid… Feeling put out because you turned my happiness blog into a serious one… 🙂