The government's all about education, they say. You know the buzz words - fourth-level learning, research and development, the knowledge economy.
Apparently none of this stretches as far as actually investing in education, of course. We'll be seeing third-level fees re-introduced after a two decade absence shortly (to add to the existing four figure sum 'non-fees' for 'registering' in college.)
And kids in schools with leaky roofs, no hot water but hot and cold running rats and roaches will have to take comfort in the fact that the education minister has secured additional funding this year - for renting prefabs, some of which have been in situ since the Eighties at this stage.
So, in this morass of misery that is the Irish education system, it does one's black heart much joy to see Irish universities hosting major international conferences into ground-breaking areas of research of significant importance to us all.
University of Limerick, take a bow. In these times of recession and Dell lay-offs, heaven knows the Mid-West is miserable now.
So fair play to the eggheads, who last year started something they couldn't finish. But this year they did finish it - two full days of a symposium dedicated to the work of Morrissey.
Seriously, they spent funds on studying the works of the old misery monger for two days. Don't believe me? Here's the awful, academic-meets-Manc-quiff proof of it all:
Stop me if you've heard this one before, but I'm not entirely convinced that indulging fortysomething daffodil-inspired obsessives is where our university system should be focusing its funding and attentions.
No doubt everyone present were charming men, but ultimately, what difference does it make?
Actually, shoehorning Smiths songs into a blog post may be fun, but spending state education funding on this sort of thing isn't justifiable when working class kids are forced to abandon third-level plans and kids are dodging the rodents in their pre-fab classrooms.
Silly and indulgent research events like this one might have been grand at one time, when we as a nation had the cash to be frivolous. But today?
That joke just isn't funny anymore.