It's easy to be positive - if you ignore the facts
While government ministers are putting a positive spin on 2013, the truth is that things are still looking pretty dire, writes Vincent Browne.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has started the season on a positive note, which we all might try to emulate in 2013.
He said at the turn of the new year that 2013 would be the "year of recovery" and that the Irish presidency of the EU would bring "new hope" to people in the midst of the economic crisis.
To celebrate these positive tidings, schoolchildren - corralled in the yard of Dublin Castle - released 40 blue balloons...
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