How bad is the mood in Ireland?
So bad that one of my oldest friends called me today to say he and his wife are emigrating.
"Can't take it any more" he told, "It has turned completely sour here, there seems no hope for at least a decade."
I was gobsmacked. If there was a definition of success he would be it. He and his wife and three grown kids were all successful Irish by any standard.
Now he is catching the emigrant plane like tens of thousands of others.
Soon as he sells up his house, south of Dublin, he is on his way he says.
I asked him was it just a temporary condition, this sudden urge, given the recent bad news and the dreadful weather over there right now?
No, he said, it had been brewing for several years, watching the "yahoos who run this country from the bankers to the politicians to the developers run the country into the ground."
He talked about the Irish narrative, how the country had moved forward starting in the 1960s and there was a continuous upward curve with everything getter better for each generation. Now that is all gone he says.
He knows his children will likely end up living abroad, even though they have professional qualifications.
"By leaving ourselves we will probably end up closer to them" he said.
It is a very sad reflection on the hard times over there. Not only do we have a drain of young people, but now it looks like a brain drain too.
Will the last person please turn off the lights.