Pigs are big in Ireland. So big in fact that applications to keep pigs have risen by 360 percent over the past two years.

That's a lot of pigs; 687 in fact. All being kept in back gardens across the country.

Conor O'Clery, writing in the GlobalPost, says the rise in unemployment has driven the penchant for the Irish keeping pigs at home.

Sties apparently are popping up like kudzu in backyards from Magherafelt to Mallow.

From Celtic Tiger to Paddy Porkies, it's quite the comedown for a country where hot tubs and decks were once de rigeur.

But then again, Ireland is a member of the Euro "PIIGS" zone (Portugal, Italy, Ireland Greece and Spain), the E.U. countries which are up to their snouts in debt.