Irish debacle - postscript
A couple of years after we left in disarray, the Irish bubble burst. In retrospect, the Swiss yachtsman, who experiencing the shambles of Cahhirsiveen marina, asked: "What have they done to get so rich?" put his finger on the matter with deadly precision.
The Irish tragedy, unfolding in 2011 and probably for a generation to come, was beginning to unfold even as we were there.
Dublin showed all the signs of a wild party which at some time would have to come to an end, leaving serious hangovers and big bills for the champagne and caviar bought on tick.
The West was a monstrous festival of speculative building, cronyism and wild hope – sustained by .......????? The EU had given fulsomely, but where was the beef? Then, there were sad pockets of decay like Arklow, where we were so kindly treated by the Cox of the local lifeboat. There, it didn't seem much different to the sad little port that Don vaguely remembered from childhood, with a few abandoned vessels lying on the sands.
Poor Irish! They had been evilly conned by their political leaders and the banks into believing that they had found the Philosopher's Stone that turned hot air into money. Mr Albert Reynolds, a Taoiseach (prime minister) once suggested on TV that those who had the temerity to challenge the substance of the Irish miracle should consider suicide!!!! The whole tragedy was made more poignant by the widespread belief that at last, poor Ireland had risen up and stuck one on the English – the Celtic Tiger lorded it over the moth-eaten lion.
So, the Irish Diaspora of talented, well-educated young people, who flooded back as the good times rolled, are - like my father , mother, brother and me in times past; going to have to leave to seek their fortunes elsewhere.
Such a terrible tragedy.
To avoid repeats, the fantastic book written in 1840 by Charles Mackay, "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds", should be mandated reading for Irish (and British, American and other) politicians, bankers and anyone who has any influence. And if they cannot answer the questions:
- "What have you learned about human herd behaviour and the recurrent mistakes of people like you over the centuries?
- "What are you going to do to ensure that you and all like you never, never again allow greed and false hope to direct your actions", they should be vigorously booted out of any kind of position of influence.
PS Their answers should be made widely available via all the social media.