| 22°C Dublin

Close

Premium

Colm McCarthy: 'Danger signs for Ireland are plain to see in the gathering gloom'

From climate change to the housing crisis and sterling heading south, Ireland has much to be worried about

Close

'The sterling exchange rate slipped quickly in the weeks following the 2016 referendum, which meant an upward revaluation of the euro and a hit to competitiveness here.' Stock photo: Depositphotos

'The sterling exchange rate slipped quickly in the weeks following the 2016 referendum, which meant an upward revaluation of the euro and a hit to competitiveness here.' Stock photo: Depositphotos

'The sterling exchange rate slipped quickly in the weeks following the 2016 referendum, which meant an upward revaluation of the euro and a hit to competitiveness here.' Stock photo: Depositphotos

At the peak of the bubble in July 2007, anyone who had expressed worries in public about economic and financial risks was admonished by taoiseach Bertie Ahern at a trade union conference in Bundoran. "Sitting on the side-lines or on the fence cribbing and moaning is a lost opportunity. In fact, I don't know how people who engage in that don't commit suicide," he suggested, to applause from the assembled delegates. With boosterism now the official policy of the Johnson government and the UK's cribbers and moaners daily castigated for insufficiency of faith, Bundoran Syndrome has found a new exponent in London. Johnson derides "the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters" for asking questions about his preferred no-deal crash-out in October, but lessons have been learnt in Ireland about the value of worrying.

Last week's NRA (National Risk Assessment), penned by officials under the leadership of the Taoiseach's department, is the latest in a series dating back to 2014, following the exit from the EU/IMF financial rescue programme which followed the crash of 2008. It warns about the debt overhang, risks from incessant pressure for extra spending, climate change, demographic ageing, the return of protectionism in the world trade system and, most immediately, the uncertainty about Brexit.


Related Content

'Perhaps the most concerning aspect of today's opinion poll is that the proportion of people saving for a home mortgage deposit has fallen dramatically from 22pc to 10pc.' (stock image) Opinion


SOUNDS FAMILIAR: Leo Varadkar is the only European leader known to have proposed fake social media accounts commenting favourably on the Government. Pic Steve Humphreys Opinion

Most Watched





Privacy