Ireland has been one of the worst affected nations by the economic downturn. It was one of the success stories of the EU, an economy that, in not much over 20 years, went from one of the poorest nations in Western Europe to Dublin becoming the most expensive city for accommodation in the whole of the EU.
But its economy is shrinking fast and the jobs are disappearing quickly.
However, there is still evidence of the money, and credit, which poured into the economy.
I had a 30 minute wait for the bus from Cashel back to Cork, and as there was nothing else to do I kept looking at all the cars going past.
In Ireland all the number plates show not only the county but also the year of registration. In all that time, excluding trucks, the oldest date that went past was 94.
There was an older car, but that had British plates.
Given how many old bangers there are running around where I live, I was quite amazed that there were none in Cashel, and it made me realise that I don’t think I’ve seen any old cars since I left Derry.
It could just be that Ireland has a very successful old car scrapage scheme.
It could be that I’ve just missed them all.