First in the door was a young man with suitcase in tow heading for the emigrant plane to America, but stopping off first to cast his vote against the Fianna Fail government.
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The Celtic Tiger went from boom to bust with breathtaking speed. In the wake of four austerity budgets -- seen as the toughest in Europe -- Ireland is locked in depression with ten successive quarters of economic contraction.
The wheels finally came off when six of Brian Cowen's ministers resigned over the last 48 hours and Cowen found himself unable to replace them.
Like a B-29 pilot gazing down at the smoking ruins of Hiroshima, Bertie Ahern, with grim satisfaction, says "my work here is done," and heads for home. His war is over.
The severity of the economic crisis that Ireland is now experiencing means that there is a massive popular desire for a new type of politics.
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