Bruce Arnold: It is like the Icelandic volcano, a dark cloud of ash threatening to close Europe for business
The main concern over the weekend was to complete the deal in time before the markets opened yesterday morning, thus offering a form of Irish sacrifice that was clearly aimed, not at the reassurance of the Irish public, but at the reassurance of foreign markets on behalf of the euro.
The dreadful deed was done. Briefly, the markets seemed to respond positively but then fell back. And another sacrifice on the altar of political ineptitude took place. Too early to say that Europe is in freefall, but whatever is happening we are at the centre of things, which is what we voted for in the second Lisbon Treaty referendum, though what is happening now is a long way from what we thought was saving us.
There is a catalogue of sacrifices made on Ireland's behalf by the present Government and it has been greatly augmented in the past two weeks, most notably when it threw away control over our public finances in order to lose control over our banks.