The launch of an updated Irish version of Monopoly, the popular board game based on the property market, is very welcome, if only because it proves that irony is a recession-proof currency. The idea of buying houses and hotels and then selling them on for a profit to some avaricious rival is so hilarious in the current circumstances that Monopoly's manufacturers deserve praise for adding to the gaiety of a nation that could do with a good laugh.

Those of us who whiled away many a rainy childhood day buying houses on Talbot Street, Capel Street and other exotic locations across the country will be glad that the game is making a kind of comeback, if only because it might teach the entrepreneurs of the future that nothing is certain in this life and that today's multi-million euro property can be tomorrow's boarded-up hotel.

We suspect the armies of property developers who helped bring Ireland to its current sorry pass never played Monopoly in their school days. If they did, they certainly didn't learn its lesson: money for its own sake is not an unqualified good and greed needs to be tempered by large degrees of common sense. They are not bad examples to follow. Perhaps the Department of Education could buy a game of Monopoly for every school in the country.