Let them eat cheese: anger as Ireland plans handouts of cheddar to the poor

Saturday, November 6, 2010
By Paul Martin

Irish government’s offer of chunks from EU cheese mountain prompts outrage from opposition politicians and public

Lisa O’Carroll
Guardian.co.uk

The country may be a few heartbeats away from intervention by the International Monetary Fund but today the Irish government had a novel message for the public: let them eat cheese.

Brendan Smith, the agriculture minister, announced a European Union-funded scheme today that will enable the country to tuck into the EU’s cheese mountain. 53 tonnes of fresh cheddar will be distributed from 15 November with collection centres in towns and cities around the country.

The minister said the scheme was “an important means of contributing towards the well-being of the most deprived citizens in the community”.

“I am very conscious that many people find themselves in difficult circumstances at present and I want to commend the work of the many charitable organisations who are working on the front line to bring what comfort and relief they can,” said Smith.

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