Austerity quite appeals to Irish Catholics: it's the obvious loss of sovereignty that troubles us
Mary Kenny guardian.co.uk, Friday 25 May 2012 22.00 BST
Although church attendance in Ireland has declined – in some places, dramatically – 84% of the Irish population still defines itself as Roman Catholic. And many of those Irish Catholic values still remain in the deposit of the national psyche.
That, I believe, is one reason the Irish are not uncomfortable with the concept of economic austerity. "Austerity" is the due enactment of penance, following sin or self-indulgence. I've heard scores of people all over the country say: "A bit of self-denial will do us no harm at all. Sure, we went over the top altogether with mad spending."
When the Celtic tiger boom went bust, a friend of mine, the writer Martina Devlin, publicly confessed to the shameful act of
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