Monday 23 January 2017

Did the recession end at the Easter weekend?

We're not allowed to say that things might be getting better, says Brendan O'Connor - but maybe it's time we allowed ourselves a bit of positivity

Published 12/04/2015 | 02:30

LAZY, HAZY DAYS: It was easy for me, gainfully employed, sitting in the sun, eating chips, to think that things were good. Photo: Getty
LAZY, HAZY DAYS: It was easy for me, gainfully employed, sitting in the sun, eating chips, to think that things were good. Photo: Getty

I sat on a stone, eating a bag of chips, looking down over a thronged beach at Lahinch last Monday, and a strange, unfamiliar thought struck me.

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It was probably the unfamiliar surroundings that did it, and the sunshine, the crowded beach, the town packed with people looking for pints and ice creams, the traffic, the surfers. And, for a minute, I dared to think: "Is the recession over?"

I even dared to think that maybe we would look back on Easter 2015, and the unexpected blast of summer, and how people took to the beaches, the pubs, the cafes and O'Connell Street in Dublin, as a turning point. Maybe historians in 10 or 20 years' time will look back and say: "That weekend is when people's mindset shifted. Unemployment had been going down and there was economic growth - but then we won a second Six Nations in an extraordinary day of sport, and then the weather came for the Easter holidays, and somehow that gave people the nudge they needed."

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