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My guess is that the return is not due to a recession, well not an economic recession but rather a recession of the Catholic faith....



BALLIVOR, Ireland — Legend has it that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland. The economic crisis has brought some of them back.


During the Celtic Tiger boom, snakes became a popular pet among the Irish nouveaux riches, status symbols in a country famous for its lack of indigenous serpents. But after the bubble burst, many snake owners could no longer afford the cost of food, heating and shelter, or they left the country for work elsewhere. Some left their snakes behind or turned them loose in the countryside, leading to some startling encounters.

A California king snake was found late last year in a vacant store in Dublin, a 15-foot python turned up in a garden in Mullingar, a corn snake was found in a trash bin in Clondalkin in South Dublin, and an aggressive rat snake was kept in a shed in County Meath, northwest of Dublin, an area dotted with sprawling houses built during the boom.

“The recession is the thing that’s absolutely causing this,” said Kevin Cunningham, a 37-year-old animal lover who started the National Exotic Animal Sanctuary after he left his job at a Dublin nightclub. He has transformed an old single-room schoolhouse near Ballivor, a hamlet in the Meath countryside, into a reptile sanctuary.

“It was about status,” Mr. Cunningham said as he waved to a four-foot red iguana that was found under a sink in an abandoned house in Dublin. “During the boom, people treated these animals as conversation starters.”

Animals have always been abandoned in greater numbers in times of famine, economic hardship and mass emigration in Ireland, but in the past that usually meant farm animals. The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was taking in five or six emaciated horses a week as recently as 2010. Now, though, snakes are more common among the foundlings, including a python named Basie that someone dropped by the side of a road.

read the rest if interested at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/16/world/....html?_r=1&
At least they are not venemous, but first reading the headline, I really thought someone was talking about the brits, seriously.
Honestly, I think the snakes returned to Ireland a long time ago in the form of bad bishops.