The Golden Years

For a week now, I’ve been avoiding the R word.

In case you missed it, the ESRI announced that the Celtic Tiger was no more, and we were in a recession.

The Irish news media responded with something that looked suspiciously like nostalgia for the eighties, when we were a nation of emigrants instead of immigrants, we only bought one-way Ryanair tickets, and Donnelly visas led to the promised land.

In the land before Lidl, those of us who hadn’t yet left the country saved money thanks to Maurice Pratt’s yellowpacks, and hoped for yellowpack jobs to get us out of the dole queue.

Worse, we ended up trapped in the hell of a makework SES scheme stretching a three week job cleaning the local graveyard into a year-long assignment to keep the unemployment figures down.

Bertie Ahern, always a lucky taoiseach, seemed to have timed it just right, announcing he was going just before the need to push him became inevitable, and leaving his successor with the task of cleaning up the mess.

But maybe Biffo is a lucky taoiseach after all.

From Monaghan comes the news that there’s gold in them thar hills.

Where’s me pickaxe?

By Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and podcaster, yet still finds himself underemployed.

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