Ireland Callingby John Spain
- Young Irish high on drugs and booze and vandalism are a disgrace
- Suffer the little Irish children - the government's regulations failed to protect babies being abused in day care centers
- Ireland: A tax haven for American tech companies like Google, Twitter and Apple but without the sun
- Pro-Life campaigners need to get a grip - Irish women still have no choice over abortion
- Abortion reform Irish style - Women still have no rights over their own bodies, continue to travel to the UK for procedure
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.