Ireland Callingby John Spain
- "Greed is good", especially in Ireland it seems with pillars of society on the take
- Vintage pamphlets offer a glimpse at the rules of 50s-era Irish Catholicism
- A leap of faith by Ireland, the exit from the IMF/EU bailout
- A temporary detour from ecomic issues to Irish soccer madness
- Give Britain a break after decades of Irish emigration to the UK
In this column last week I was discussing the way some people at the top of Irish business and official life have been trying to ignore the harsh cutbacks in pay and services that everyone else here has to take on board.
It's a bit like being in an episode of Lost, except that we're not killing each other. Not yet anyway.
But since that vast cloud of volcanic dust from Iceland moved over us last week and grounded the planes, we're certainly cut off from most of the rest of the world. It's a reminder of something we easily forget -- we're an island nation, stuck out on the edge of Europe. Without air transport, it can feel pretty lonely out here.
One story was big enough last week to push our economic crisis off the front pages for a day, and that was the racist murder of a 15-year-old Nigerian boy stabbed to death in Tyrrelstown, a housing estate on the west side of Dublin, the sprawling area of cheap new housing where many immigrants have settled.
Financial Armageddon ... economic holocaust ... Celtic Chernobyl ... journalists and commentators here struggled last week to find words to adequately express the scale of what has happened to us.
Normally, language like this would be way over the top. But this time, extreme though the language was, it seemed too weak to encompass the extent of the monumental disaster that has engulfed us.