Do your worst -- we can take it
Of course we Irish have never been very good at taking a compliment. "That's a nice dress." "This old yoke? It's crap." "Have you lost weight?" "No. I'm fat and ugly."
And so when Standard and Poor's tried to tell us last week that maybe the worst was over in terms of property, we laughed them out of town. When Standard and Poor's used to insult us on a regular basis, we took it all almost gleefully. After all, this was the great Standard and Poor's and we were only a bunch of idiots.
The closer they got to using the word 'junk' about us the more we went into ecstasies of mortification. Finally, proof, from experts in the outside world, that we were a piece of crap. Finally someone to put a stamp of approval on our self-hatred.