Boost for Irish Mining Sector as Dirt Values Explode

Minister Alan 'Bull' Shatter shows two child miners where they'll be working
The mining industry in Ireland has received a much-needed boost with a series of investments in mining operations nationwide. The mineral in question, Dirt, has been in high demand recently and the race is now on to harvest the remaining untapped reserves of the resource in constituencies across the country.

After initially trying to sell off the mining rights to a multinational corporation for a song, the government was forced to backtrack when they realised that the resource holds no international value whatsoever and can only be exploited on a domestic, and parochial, level. It is, as yet, unclear what the real value of the mineral is to the ordinary Irish people but that appears to be of little significance as the frenzy around the Dirtrush intensifies.

New mining & drilling operations have sprung up in various parts of the country, including a large open cast mine in the Phoenix Park, home of the Garda National Headquarters, which is expected to have a massive Dirt yield. Elsewhere, after a ferocious bidding war, it is understood that business baron Denis O'Brien has secured the mining rights in the bountiful constituency of Tipperary North. 

Environmental groups have expressed serious concerns about the long term side-effects of the mining boom, especially the potential visual scarring of the landscape. Speaking yesterday, Minister Alan 'Bull' Shatter, a recent beneficiary and victim of the Dirtrush, dismissed the environmental concerns out of hand and claimed the government had a plan in place. However, Minister Bull Shatter refused to either confirm or deny that this plan would involve the backfilling of the mines with another toxic political byproduct: The vast quantities of empty unfulfilled promises left over from past and future general elections. 

Paul Williams revealed as Gangland Kingpin

Criminal Mastermind - Paul 'Top Tout' Williams
The Foraging Ireland can now exclusively reveal the vicious thug responsible for Ireland's current wave of gangland crime – Paul 'Top Tout' Williams. Gardaí have long suspected that an unknown kingpin was pulling the strings in Gangland but The Irish Sun journalist's role was only recently uncovered after a thorough and courageous investigation carried out by this writer.

In a case of fact being stranger fiction, Williams' story is not unlike that of the film The Departed. Back in the early 90s the prolific Dublin criminal Martin 'The General' Cahill recognised the power of the media and recruited Williams, then a low-level street thug, to attend a couple of journalism courses before getting him a job, through torture and intimidation, at the Sunday World.

Cahill intended to use Williams to misdirect the Gardaí and rival gangs by planting false stories in the national newspaper. The crime columns were also used to promote Cahill's image of being an “ordinary decent criminal”. But when The General was slaughtered in a hail of bullets in 1994 Williams found himself trapped in his job as a journalist because no one but Cahill knew Top Tout's true identity.

However, Williams soon realised how profitable crime-writing could be in its own right and successfully kept his criminal persona a secret while he expertly played criminal factions against each other using his regular crime columns and subsequent books. It is believed that journalist Veronica Guerin was close to revealing Top Tout's identity in 1996 when she was brutally murdered by John Gilligan's gang after Williams gave them accurate details of her diary and movements.

Williams swiftly replaced Guerin as top dog at the Sunday World and set about creating the cult of Gangland by giving Ireland's criminals the one thing they craved the most but couldn't buy or steal: notoriety. Using his columns he built up the profiles of various lowlifes and drug dealers, knowing that the more he wrote about them the bigger a target they would become. This cunning tactic resulted in a high turnover rate of gangland figures as jealous gang rivals murderously scrambled to get their names in the headlines. Top Tout had hit the big time.

In a bizarre twist, Williams' true identity was revealed not by the Gardaí that he so closely associated with but by the vigilence of this writer. I had noticed discrepancies in Williams' writing – frequent misspellings, poor syntax, indiscriminate punctuation – that suggested he couldn't possibly be a professional writer. When this writer bravely confronted Williams with the overwhelming evidence against him Top Tout broke down and admitted his guilt but fled the country before he could be apprehended by the Gardaí. The grisly reign of Paul 'Top Tout' Williams was over.

*At the time of writing it is believed that Paul Williams is living in Spain and is currently working on one last big heist before he disappears for good: He's writing his memoirs.

Dáil Éireann Announces Amnesty on Broken Pre-election Promises

The Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann has declared an amnesty on all political promises made before the last general election. The amnesty, which runs until until the Dáil reconvenes later this month, allows parliamentary parties to present unfulfilled pre-election promises and downright lies for decommissioning, thereby putting them beyond use by opposition parties.

It is estimated that almost 97% of speaking time in the Dáil is spent on accusations and counter-accusations of hypocrisy. It is hoped that by allowing the political parties to formally put aside their pre-election promises they can move on from the pretence of actually representing the electorate and instead focus on the real work of securing allowances, expenses and pensions for themselves.

The Labour Party will undoubtedly gain the most from the amnesty but there are some doubts as to whether the party will have enough time to offload its vast catalogue of broken election promises before the deadline expires. There are rumours of a compromise whereby if Labour fails to decommission all of its promises in time it can simply decommission Eamon Gilmore in lieu.

Sinn Féin is no stranger to the decommissioning process and is expected to waste no time admitting that most of its T.D.s are in fact mass-murdering terrorists. The party is still reeling from the embarrassing revelation that Dublin North-West T.D. Dessie Ellis is linked to only 50 murders, an astonishingly low figure that is expected to seriously damage the party's street cred.

Bertie Ahern moments before the Bank Bailout
Fianna Fáil intends to decommission its assertion that the party is not exactly the same as the one that rode Ireland head first into the recession. The party has taken the opportunity to release some previously unseen images of Bertie Ahern in the weeks prior to the bank bailout which will also now be put beyond use by the opposition.

Fine Gael will take this opportunity to finally decommission James Reilly.