Monday, 15 March 2010

Recession bites!

The recession isn't over yet, either in Ireland or in Wales. That's the conclusion of my visit to Dublin this weekend, drawing on a comparison with a visit there two years ago. On our arrival at Dublin International Airport two years ago we were met with chaotic scenes with taxis and buses barely able to cope with the influx of Welsh fans. It couldn't be more different this year with taxis aplenty. Whilst Grafton Street was full of Welsh fans two years ago and you couldn't go ten yards without meeting someone you knew, this year there were far fewer and there were fewer still that I knew. It was the same situation with tickets, it was a lot easier to get tickets than it was in the past and the green was far more prominent in Croke Park than the red. Whilst there were still plenty of buskers around the city there was a noticeable increase in beggars. Other indications that Ireland is in a deep recession is the fact that prices had actually gone down over the last 2 years and my perception was that Dublin was no more expensive than it was two years ago despite the fact that the pound had collapsed against the euro. No doubt the collapse of the pound against the euro and the generally recessionary feel deterred many thousands of Welsh fans from travelling. So whatever the Office of National Statistics say about growth, take it with a pinch of salt, the reality is quite different for a lot of people.

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