Leader faces long post-Brexit slog
When the crash came, we thought it was the worst we would ever have to face. People lost their savings, their pensions, their homes and their jobs; our young people had to emigrate, and we had to spend €64bn of taxpayers' money bailing out our native banks, very little of which has come back to us yet.
AIB, for example (and it was by far the biggest example), needed help to the tune of €20.8bn. So far, we have received €3.3bn by way of return, and if Michael Noonan proceeds with the sale of the first 25pc of our AIB shares, as he seems determined to before he ends his political career, we could get another €3bn, which suggests that selling the rest will leave us a long way short of full repayment.
But bad as all that was, there is worse to come. So much so that when the next Taoiseach is chosen he will have to realise that he will be the equivalent of a war-time leader. The potential consequences for this country of Britain's exit from the European Union are that serious.