The crass consumerism that has plagued Ireland for much of the past decade has turned us from a friendly, welcoming nation into a vulgarian’s paradise.
We borrowed recklessly to buy things we didn’t need in order to impress people we often didn’t know or like, and all so we could project an image of status that we probably didn’t deserve. Now that the abundance of credit has dried up, perhaps we will no longer feel the need to keep up with the Joneses in a relentless consumerist race that can never be won, and instead we might start being friendly to our neighbours again.
Perhaps our roads won’t be quite so congested with big cars and SUVs that have reduced our city centres to gridlock, pumped toxic gases into the environment and turned pedestrians, cyclists and people in smaller cars into endangered species.
Perhaps speculators will not be able to drive up the price of houses to levels where ordinary people cannot afford to buy them.
But most importantly, perhaps we will be able to take stock of where we want to go as a society, and this time we can plan for a more economically and environmentally sustainable future that won’t repeat the mistakes we made during the period of our history called the Celtic Tiger.
Old Blackrock Road