Friday, June 16, 2006

The missing comma

The Bailey brothers of Bovale Developments have made a tax settlement of €25m, believed to be the largest, so far, in the history of the state.

When publishing their regular list of settlements extracted from tax defaulters, the Revenue Commissioners should at least consider producing the list under the banner headline: “They have done the state some service”. Of course, in time that might be abbreviated to “They have done the state”.

There is an ongoing debate about what Charlie Haughey actually meant to say in his valedictory address to the Dail. Those who have seen his script say that there was actually a comma inserted after the word “State”, which would make much better sense of the actual quotation in the context of Haughey’s career and subsequent revelations at the various tribunals.

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