As a significant week in Ireland’s economic history draws to a close, we ask some Irish people for their views.


Margaret (60) is from Co. Leitrim and looks after her three grandchildren full-time. No stranger to emigration, in the sixties she moved to the U.S. for ten years.

How do you feel about the events which have unfolded in the last seven days?
I think it's awful what has happened to our country, but we were Governed by a lot wasters, not only in our present Government, but also in our former. I lived through the last recession in the mid to late eighties, but Ireland was a lot poorer then and people weren’t used to the standard of living that we have today. We didn’t have as many mortgage holders. It's the young people I feel for, who are educated and faced with emigration. Those that have jobs are paying high levels of tax for the mistakes of others.

What do you friends and family think?
Everybody I have spoken to is of a similar opinion.  I constantly listen to the radio and people are frustrated and angry and concerned about the future of our country.

How do you feel about Ireland's future?
I feel that my children and my grandchildren will burdened with a massive debt through no fault of their own and I would advice any unemployed young person to emigrate if they can. Myself and my husband emigrated in the late sixties and met and lived in American for ten years. This was a wonderful life experience for us.

What are your main fears right now?
I am really concerned about the interest rate we will have to repay on our borrowings from the EU and the IMF.

Do you think the Ireland's identity is irreversible changed?
I think that Ireland's economy is a talking point worldwide. We were also known as the land of the saints and scholars but now we will be known as the wasters and chancers.


Wesley (28) is from Galway and is a trained civil engineer. After three years working abroad he moved home to Ireland last July. He is currently unemployed and plans to set up his own business.

How do you feel about the events which have unfolded in the last seven days?
A lot of what has been happening has gone over my head really, as i have never had an interest in how international economics works (everything seemed to run smoothly, didn't it?). However as i learn more about it I am beginning to feel a little bit deceived by the government really. For so long we were told by the government that there would be no help required from Europe or anywhere else and now it seems that we are going to be lent money from Europe (at what interest rate i don't know) with our new lenders laying down guidelines on how the country should be run for the next few years. I do not agree with some of the scare tacticians in the media who say that by accepting a loan from Europe, which will have some conditions applied as to how the country is run, we have somehow given up our sovereignty as a nation. From what i can gather, the money is being borrowed to pay off debts to international bankers. Maybe if these lenders had kept a closer eye on how this country was being run we wouldn't need a bail out now.

What do you friends and family think?
I think a lot of people do not quite understand the ins and outs of what is happening, but there seems to be a general disappointment that our sovereignty has been brought into question. Having spoken to friends abroad, it seems that we are the laughing stock of the world though. Though the media may be blowing the whole thing out of proportion, i don't think anyone is chuffed about the fact that paddy Irish man jokes are back in fashion.


How do you feel about Ireland's future?
Its probably going to be a hard slog for people with low incomes and kids as they will have trouble surviving from day to day. The higher earners, and those who's incompetence got us here will suffer too of course as they may have to drive smaller cars, take fewer sun holidays, and will not be able to afford as much useless crap as they have become accustomed to buying.

How do you feel about your job?
I’m on the dole, i do not see a job in the very near future. I would like to become self employed but there is zero chance of getting a loan these days, and i must twiddle my thumbs for 12 months on the dole before i qualify for any government assistance in setting up a business.

Do you think the Ireland's identity is irreversible changed?
Absolutely not (yet). I think that with the right people in charge this could all be forgotten about in 5-10 years. The worry is that the current alternative is not any better than the current government. We need Michael O'Leary as our finance minister. Now there's a thrifty man!

Rebecca is from Dublin, and in her early twenties. With two degrees under her belt, she was laid off earlier this year from her job as a radio producer. She is currently working in the retail sector. She plans to go emigrate in the New Year.

How do you feel about the events which have unfolded in the last seven days?
I feel really sick and angry when I think about the situation we are in. This is the first time in my life I am ashamed to be Irish. The government have sold our sovereignty, sold our souls. And the worst part the money we are getting from the IMF is not even enough to bail us out of this mess. It’s disgusting. It really saddens me. I have reached the stage where I’ve started to avoid the news. Sticking my head in the sand probably isn’t the best approach but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

What do you friends and family think?
They feel the same as I do - bewildered and shocked and frightened. I’m amazed we aren’t rioting in the streets like the Greeks, making our feelings know that we are not going to take this lying down.

How do you feel about Ireland’s future?
I am fearful for what the future holds. How we are going to survive this? Who knows what horrendous cuts are coming down the line?  What else has the government and the banks been hiding from us? What size will those mind-boggling bailout figures swell to?

How do you feel about your job?
I’m glad I have one to be honest, not that any retail outlets are buzzing with customers at the moment. I’m very fortunate to be able to live at home & save for my travels.
What are your main fears right now?
I worry about where all of this will end – how many more revelations will it take? How much more money will we need to bail us out? Will our children be paying a price for our generation’s mistakes?

Why are you leaving Ireland?
I am leaving because there are no job prospects in the media at the moment. Being out of my field of work has caused me to lose my drive to carve out for a career for myself at the moment. I’d rather float along somewhere sunny with a better standard of living for a year – and this seems like the best time and the best age to do it at.

Do you think the Ireland's identity is irreversible changed?
Yes – we are the laughing stock of Europe. Our recklessness and incompetence will mar our reputation for a long time to come. These will be the mistakes that our children will learn about in the history books.


In his late twenties, Gareth if from Roscommon and has reinvented himself in the downturn. Having previously worked as an engineer, he now manages a bar and runs his own business.

How do you feel about the events which have unfolded in the last seven days?
Uncertain about the outcome and the effects it will have on the countries financial position and even more important the effect it will have on the moral of the people of the country. People including young people in this town are becoming consumed with fear, and the public fear is paralysing businesses.

What do you friends and family think?
Quite similar thoughts.

How do you feel about Ireland's future?
Hopefully the Budget will explain clearly the true state of the books, and how long it will take for Ireland to recover. I believe if we know the truth, the recovery will begin, no matter how bad things are. People can get used to anything. Its the 'not-knowing' that's prolonging the problem. We must get confidence going again.

How do you feel about your job?
I have gone through the redundancy process in the last year or so and I have had to adapt and change my entire career to overcome the recession. Since this change I have noticed a lot of different opportunities that are out there and believe its in our nature to adapt to overcome troubling situations. So regarding the job its not as secure as once perceived, but there are opportunities for those who seek.

What are your main fears right now?
I think my biggest fear right now is that the confidence is not restored to the people within the country and the full truth of the state of things is not laid bare and buried. This truth and confidence is crucial in getting things on track again.


Do you think the Ireland's identity is irreversible changed?
Its a major blow to the country indeed but I would prefer to lend my feelings in thinking that we can begin the recovery and look to a more positive future with lessons learnt. Other countries are in similar situations so the impact will be spread and eyes will be turned to see how we cope and recover from the situation. Our identity will be tested but I don't think irreversible changed.

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