Efforts were believed to be underway this morning to ferry tons of air to Northern Ireland after an Assembly politician admitted that almost half the oxygen in the province had been lost to 'leaks'.
A spokesman for the Assembly government - already under-fire after the water shortages affecting one of the most rain-soaked areas on Earth - would neither confirm nor deny rumours circulating around Stormont that air in the region was also running low.
One insider said last night "We're hoping that all this leaked information will mean that a shortage of information is imminent."
It is been suggested that air will have to be imported from all across the UK to the province, and initial Whitehall speculation centred on the possibility of pointing off-shore wind farms toward Northern Ireland in an effort to make sure that air does not fall below current levels.
"The problem," the insider revealed "is that we've got the wrong sort of air at the moment - there's plenty of hot air and more is being generated all the time, thanks to cross-party efforts, but nobody wants - or needs - that sort of air. It's not good for you, and in high quantities can be quite toxic. The people want fresh air, and that's one thing that there simply isn't enough of."
Late last night, plans were said to be underway to persuade the leadership of the IRA to anagrammatize it's name to the AIR, in a bid to raise awareness of air conservation. A scheme to import air from the Republic of Ireland was quickly vetoed by the Unionist parties, despite the seeming willing offer of assistance by the government in Eire.
"We've already made a sand-for-water offer to the government of Algeria, in a bid to end water shortages," the insider continued, "so positive steps are being taken with that situation. However, the air supply is growing ever more problematic."
Ironically, Air Supply were one of the bands being touted for a benefit concert to be held in the capital Belfast, where the aim is believed to be for musicians from all over the world to produce as much Londonderry Air as possible.