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Send in the clowns? Don’t bother, they’re here

IT Sunday: Financial tide is going out so keep your togs on; India’s World Cup; and a US college town in fear over murders


Welcome to this week’s IT Sunday, a selection of the best Irish Times journalism for our subscribers.

The World Cup started earlier this week and the facts and controversesy surrounding the tournament spurred Fintan O’Toole to ask if there has ever been such a concentration of sheer idiocy on the world stage? Send in the clowns? Don’t bother, they’re here, he writes. “Grandiose folly is, in the sweep of history, no novelty. But it is hard to think of a time in history when there has been such a concentration of sheer idiocy on the world stage as in 2022. The first float in this mad parade is the one constructed jointly by Fifia and the al-Thani dynasty that rules Qatar. Its centrepiece is Fifa president Gianni Infantino’s announcement last weekend that “today I feel like a migrant worker”.

Our soccer correspondent Gavin Cummiskey is in Doha for the games, and says that Qatar’s locals already seem fed up with World Cup they never wanted. However, this is not the Qatar World Cup, it’s the first World Cup to be hosted by India, writes Gavin. “It is the Indians who run Doha. They co-ordinate the roaming, fake supporters who are gradually being eclipsed by real fans from South America, streaming off cruise liners, and day-tripping Brits from Dubai. It is the Indians who possess encyclopedic knowledge of a metrolink that makes Blade Runner feel dated.”

In his column, David McWilliams writes that the soaring shares of various “tech” companies are crashing. The tide is going out, and because so many companies provide stock as part of employees’ overall packages, the hit will be significant “In Ireland the real impact of this tech crunch will be felt in employment, rents and tax revenue. This is where things get serious and consequential for the rest of us. If the losses were limited to investors, speculators, hustlers and grifters, then there is no big deal. You win some, you lose some. But tech companies are cutting jobs everywhere. Ireland will feel this because 6.5 per cent of all workers in Ireland work in the tech sector.”

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Despite rising interest rates at a European level, deposit rates remain stubbornly low in Ireland. Unless you’re willing to put your money away in a State savings vehicle, the best return is likely to be the 0.25 per cent available from AIB at the end of the month. However, if you want to get a 2 per cent-plus return on your savings, it’s not straightforward but it is possible, writes Fiona Reddan as more attractive rates on your deposits are available from continental banks and are accessible from Ireland (if you can handle a few taxation hassles).

If you’d like to read more about the issues that affect your pocket, try signing up to On the Money, the new weekly newsletter from our personal finance team, which will be issued every Friday to Irish Times subscribers. You can read the latest edition of the newsletter here.

Washington Correspondent Martin Wall writes about how a US college town is living in fear as police continue the hunt for the killer of four students who were stabbed to death in their beds as two others slept nearby. As thousands of students in the town of Moscow, Idaho headed home for Thanksgiving this week, at police headquarters, there was no holiday season. Nearly a fortnight after the three women and one man were found stabbed to death in a gruesome and mysterious attack, investigators have not identified any suspect, are still searching for a murder weapon and are asking locals for tips and surveillance video.

Earlier this week Trish Murphy advised a male reader in his early 20s who is in a relationship with a woman 20 years older than him, but “now I’m overthinking it. That she will continue to age scares me. I’m afraid a health condition will cause conflicts, and I would never get it over my heart to send her to a care home after 30 years”. You can read Trish’s reply here.

Meanwhile, Roe McDermott advises a reader who says the man she was in a “situationship” with is dating someone new and she can’t get over it. “I am disappointed to have no chance and I am in denial that he didn’t want more. Should I tell him how I feel?”

The 10th annual Food Month at The Irish Times is coming to a close, but there is still plenty to enjoy. This week Lilly Higgins brought the perfect solution for your leftover mashed potatoes. The resulting gnocchi are “delicious little pillows of mash bound together” with “a great depth of flavour”. If you’re not in the mood for cooking, however, have a look at this week’s restaurant review. Corinna Hardgrave says this is the restaurant Dublin has been waiting for. Richard Corrigan’s latest venture “is the sort of proper cooking that I love to see. My budget may not stretch to the Burgundies on that beautiful wine list, but I want to eat every single dish on this menu. It is not just good value but also money well spent.”

As always, there is much more on irishtimes.com, including the latest rundowns of all the latest movies in our film reviews, tips for the best restaurants in our food section and all the latest in sport. There are plenty more articles exclusively available for Irish Times subscribers here.

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