THE headlines from Ireland have been shocking and so sad.  What happened to the Celtic Tiger in so short at time?

Ireland now finds itself back at square one – high unemployment, mass emigration and gloom and doom all around. Was all the excess worth all of this pain?

I keep harking back to Cormac MacConnell and John Spain’s columns that were written during the so-called boom years – they lamented the loss of the simple pleasures that Ireland had always offered, pleasures that were forgotten about in the race to have the biggest TV, the newest car, best vacation home, etc.

I am not at all happy about what’s going on in Ireland these days. I have many relatives over there, working class people, who will undoubtedly have to sacrifice because of the mistakes made by bankers and property speculators.

But maybe there are lessons to be learned for the Irish, too. With wealth and prosperity comes responsibility, and too many people lost sight of that during the boom years in Ireland.

Mary Ann McGrath
Queens, New York