Friday, May 02, 2008

But Lately There Ain't Been Much Work, On Account of the Economy...

It was hard not to think of Bruce Springsteen while watching Prime Time’s rather devastating program on the current parlous state of the Irish economy last night. The initial please-please-please don’t let it happen to us hopes of a soft landing have no given way to the grim reality that it isn’t so much a soft landing as stepping off a cliff, and we still don’t know just how much further we have to fall.

RTÉ have the show online, and you can see it at the Prime Time site here. There’s a nice opening montage of images to the tune of (unless I’m very much mistaken) Ella singing Just One of those Things, and then Donagh Diamond gives us the facts. Miriam O’Callaghan interviews five guests in total between the VT, only one of whom is predicting any sort of growth in her industry in the coming year at all. Sadly, she’s in the St Vincent de Paul. It’s all very frightening.

An Spailpín Fánach was in the new shopping centre in Longford last week, on his way back to Dublin after a sad visit to the county Mayo. Longford shopping centre doesn’t get the same ink as Dundrum or Liffey Valley, but it’s as indicative of the Celtic Tiger as any other, because there was never, never, business done in Longford bar horse trading and slashing. And during the boom the population of Longford grew for what must be the first time ever, and they were able to build a shopping centre with lots of chi-chi little outlets selling shoes and accessories and other, likewise, items.

I was there at half-five on Wednesday, and all I saw were the shopgirls leaning on their counters, staring out the door where the shoppers used to enter, but don’t anymore. Things will be worse before they’re better I’m afraid. The cold wind of reality is sweeping through the country now, and it has some devastation left to wreak yet.

And a very happy bank holiday weekend to you all.

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