Here's some quality bit of research done yesterday by Fine Gael. Basically, they uncovered the fact that the Dublin councils paid out a mammoth 15 million euro in a four year period to people who tripped and fell on the footpath.
Now, have they paved Dublin with minefields when I wasn't looking, or does this sound like another compo tidal wave to you?
The worst part, or best depending on whether you're a member of the Law Society or not, is that half of that money went to solicitors.
This isn't the first example of the current government shovelling money at our learned friends in the Four Courts, of course. The tribunal payouts have made multimillionaires of many legal eagles, or as I prefer to refer to them, tax-sucking parasites on society.
Interestingly, the Dublin councils managed to spend a mere 17 million euro on street repairs while ponying up almost the same amount to people claiming compo. Seems a poor return, doesn't it?
I recall there was a road in Turf Lodge in Belfast that during the Eighties was known as the most dangerous street in the world. Not because of any Troubles-related violence, but because of the number of local residents who had claimed compo off Belfast City Council after going arse over tit on the pavement.
No matter how many repairs were done, it only took a crack on a single slab (one that might occur mysteriously overnight, after some local lads had passed by with a sledgehammer) for the locals to be fighting each other to hurl themselves to the ground as they walked over the crack.
Far be it from me to suggest that anyone in receipt of compensation from the Dublin councils in relation to footpath falls were in anyway claiming illegally. But Dublin pavements are simply not minefields.
Watch where you're walking in future, you dozy crooks!