Dearbhail McDonald: We're drowning in a sea of debt and courts can't cope
THE courts have always been a barometer of the times we live in, good and bad. It is not an exact science by any means but the trends, volumes and types of cases that emanate from the courts measure the atmospheric pressures in society and help us to determine and evaluate any changes in our social, cultural, political and economic make-up.
Each year the annual report of the Courts Service, the state agency that manages the courts and supports the judiciary, throws up some interesting anecdotes about Irish life. But 2009, lest we forget it, was all about debt.
Though it is understandable that the Government's priority is to appease our European masters and the seemingly faceless international debt markets by concentrating on the rescue of the banks, it should not ignore the unfolding, if crude, narrative about levels of personal and corporate debt emanating from the courts.