The Irish Troubled!

by DAMO!

In Ireland we had built a truly independent nation,
standing proud after years of strife and deprivation
But we yearned to join Europe, enticed by her charms,
and she was happy to welcome us, with open arms
Once we used to have pounds, shillings and pence,
when we joined Europe we adopted euros and cents,
We bought in to a single European currency,
and got loads of money, for everything a subsidy

Yes Europe proved to be extraordinarily generous,
the goose that kept laying golden eggs for us
Our government went mental with the money Europe kept sending,
it appeared this generosity was never ending
And our banks joined in with unprecedented lending,
we the people were happy, ah the money we were spending
We threw caution to the wind, it was pure insanity,
we paid ridiculous prices for even the smallest property

Mortgages and loans were given out like sweets,
credit cards with no limit for those occasional treats
Yes the borrowing and spending went on unabated,
sure why wouldn’t it, it was completely unregulated.
There was so much money, loans were so easy to get,
each one of us accumulated a serious amount of debt
Most of us were living way beyond our means,
had we sold our souls for a handful of beans?

Such was our success, other nations did applaud,
we bought new houses and cars and apartments abroad
Credit cards and loans bought so much other stuff,
one could be forgiven for thinking we could never have enough
We changed as a people, became quite materialistic,
we wanted so many things that were beyond realistic
we forgot what was important, which was really quite sad,
judging each other it seemed now by how much each had

There were those like David McWilliams who tried to make us see the light,
but our politicians were quick to tell us everything was all right
It’s grand they said; sure our economy is booming,
though now it appears they knew disaster was looming
It seems the easy credit and ridiculous property prices,
left the banks owing billions, facing a financial crisis
and one night our politicians agreed the bank guarantee,
borrowing billions from Europe, selling our sovereignty.

The billions owed by the banks were to be paid by you and me,
which meant we all faced years of austerity
The money disappeared almost as quickly as Fianna Fail,
we were at the mercy of the Troika, Angela Merkel and all.
We owed billions in the form of a promissory note,
with billions to be paid each year, by rote
The banks and the developers washed their hands of it all,
some even representing us now in the Dail!

Yes the banks and bond holders who were mostly to blame,
did not lose a penny, they knew how to play the game
But for us there’s no help, it’s an absolute shame,
and the politicians' reasoning sounds completely lame
We had our politicians and the business world to thank,
but they laughed all the way to the nearest offshore bank
Swiftly followed by developers and entrepreneurs,
all this country got from them was a collective Up Yours!

Default! Default! The Sinn Feiners cried!
But the people said no, they still had their pride
They had had their fill of such opportunism,
and tackled the problem with true stoicism
There were no riots, no violent demonstrations,
as was evident in many other debt ridden nations
We simply put our heads down and got on with the task,
answering all of the questions the world had to ask

And now through our efforts things seem to have improved,
with a deal on the promissory note having just been approved
We still owe the money but we have more years to pay,
we can only hope our grandchildren will pay it off one day
There are green shoots of recovery, all is not lost
We learned a valuable lesson, though at a significant cost
But after all the cost cutting, redundancies, pay cuts,
all we get from Europe now is more ifs and buts

And I know this is wrong before I’ve even said it;
but for all of our hard work, would Europe not give us some credit?

© Damian Murphy DAMO! 2013

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