Brendan O'Connor: While we are still masters of our fate, let's act
If we don't take the pain now, a miasma of gloom could hobble an entire generation, writes Brendan O'Connor
So they went and they counted the ghost estates. And now they have to decide what to do with them, so they have set up a special task force of experts.
They will no doubt go off and mull over the issue for a month or three while the half-built or empty houses are becoming increasingly derelict and dangerous, and then they will come back with a series of proposals in a report that will be welcomed at the time and will then be put into someone's drawer. Because that's Ireland for you now, a place where no one has the confidence or energy to make a decision or actually do anything any more.
You can almost sense stagnation in the air. There is a very real feeling that the pause button is pressed in the country, that we are all collectively holding our breath, as we wait for something to happen. Anyone with money is holding on to it. They are buying neither houses nor clothes nor meals out. They are just waiting, uncertainly, to see what is going to happen next.