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
This weekend, like the three weekends before, was cloudy and wet in Dublin. Yes there was some sun as well, but the regular heavy showers were a reminder that this is Ireland, not Portugal.
Here's an image to stop you in your tracks. The number of people who will emigrate from Ireland in 2010 and 2011 will add up to 120,000. And as the business editor of the Irish Independent pointed out last week, that is the figure given by the last census for the population of Cork City.
Think about it. Imagine chopping off Cork and letting it drift into the Irish Sea and then around the corner of the Kerry coast into the Atlantic. Before you know it, Cork would be bumping up against Manhattan.
Well, of course, that's not going to happen. But in another way the effect might be the same, because where is the first place a lot of the 120,000 who will emigrate from here in the two year period will think of heading for? New York, New York, that's where.
On Monday of this week a judge in the High Court in Dublin made a decision that will send shivers down the spines of the top developers and bankers here. The former boss of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean FitzPatrick, was officially declared a bankrupt by the judge.
It's not the kind of thing that was supposed to happen to a member of the golden circle, the super wealthy elite who made fortunes during the boom here, largely due to the property bubble.
FitzPatrick was the poster boy for the madness, the ultimate mover and shaker who built the tiny Anglo Irish investment bank on Stephen's Green in Dublin from an annual profit of one million in 1987 to one billion in 2007.