However depressed Irish people are living in a depressed economy, it just got a little bit worse today when financial experts estimated that Thierry Henry’s blatant handball that cost the Irish soccer team a place in the 2010 World Cup also cost the Irish economy at least $150 million.

That’s right, $150 million.

So says Owen James, Financial analyst, of London’s prestigious Centre For Economics And Business Research.

“Based on figures on household expenditure and other factors, I estimate the Irish economy will lose out to the tune of £100million ($150 million). If they’d got beyond the group stage, the gain would be more.”

It’s enough to make you turn to the drink. But don’t tell Irish teenagers that, according to the latest news, they are already locked off their heads.

It is hard to fathom that one (or in the case of Mr. Henry, the best volleyballer currently warming the bench at Barcelona, two) flick (s) of the hand cost a nation so much spiritually, and now financially.

And Mr. James is not the only one to think that the Irish economy is the biggest loser out of the cheating that took place in Paris.

Barclays Stockbrokers’ Henk Potts explains where we would have raked in the cash had Shay Given punched the ball out in the first place, had Paul McShane just nodded it out instead of letting it bounce past him and had Thierry Henry let it go out of play instead of taking up Gaelic football in the middle of a freakin’ World Cup playoff game.

"Retailers will lose out in terms of numbers of sales, and the leisure industry in terms of the numbers going to pubs and bars. Supermarkets would have expected an increase in certain products sold in preparation for matches and bookmakers would expect a lot more activity if Ireland were taking part."

So thanks a million Thierry, thanks a 150 million times over.