Sunday 11 December 2016

Brendan Keenan: Ruin was the result of human folly, not our preordained fate

The present is always more complicated than any imagined future

Published 15/01/2012 | 05:00

WE are a fatalistic people, says the Lonely Planet guide. Well, to modify Winston Churchill's (inaccurate) description of Labour leader Clement Atlee, we have a lot to be fatalistic about.

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I recall noticing during the boom years -- I hope it wasn't too far into the bubble years -- the number of people who would ask when all these good times would end. Their view seemed to be that this sort of thing -- healthy incomes, full employment -- just wasn't natural in Ireland. It was bound to end in tears.

Which, of course, it did. But ruin was not inevitable; at least not up until 2003 or thereabouts. It was the result of human folly, not preordained Irish fate.

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