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Children in China eating Irish takeout

It depends on when in the future. Let us say in five years, 10 years and 50 years. In the long run we are all dead, today or in 50 years.

In 50 years I will be 93. I hope to be dead by then. That said, if I make it to 93, I may want to make it to 94.

The good news is I won't care what happens any more. That will be the concern of my grandchildren, if they live here, which I expect they will not. They will be in China, ordering an Irish takeaway.

The bad news is we will have to put up with Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour, a combination of any two, or of all three, for the next 50 years and beyond.

It would be tempting to think that, in 50 years, they will be gone, to be replaced by another shower, only more Eurosceptic, but I'd doubt that they will.

In 10 years we will begin the process of pegging the euro to the yen. There will be an image of a German fat cat on our currency, probably somebody called Helmut.

Fianna Fail will sweep to power on a promise of change. Fine Gael will prop them up. The new government will collapse on a Fine Gael scandal from five years before. Sinn Fein, led by Gerry Adams, will lead the Opposition and Sean Sherlock will take Labour into a period of reflection and renewal.

In five years my son will emigrate to Beijing, via Sydney. "Dad, I thought you told me the recession would be over by now," he will say at the airport. "Skype me when you get there," I will say.

Mickey Harte, a most dignified man, will be president, or his friend, Brian Cody, a most decent man. People will clamour for change. But Fine Gael and Labour will scrape in again. Just about. And Offaly will win the All-Ireland double, the football team under the management of Brian Cowen, redemption of sorts as a leader of men.

Sunday Independent