The ten plagues of Erin

Deep recession, nationwide strikes, elimination from the World Cup and now massive flooding across the country – things could hardly get worse in Ireland. Pat Fitzpatrick in the Irish Independent wonders whether God is making a point.

Published on 30 November 2009 at 11:59
We're doomed. The old cemetery of Peppardstown, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Photo : Ciaron/Flickr

Is God punishing us? The trials of the Irish people are taking on biblical proportions, with an echo of the 10 plagues that were heaped on the Egyptians for refusing to release the Jews from captivity and slavery.

A financial storm has ruined livelihoods. We've got pestilence in the form of swine flu. As for being tormented by a plague of frogs, well even 10 days later it's painful to think of all those French people heading to the World Cup finals, guided by Thierry Henry's giant hand. And then, of course, this week our Nile - the Shannon - burst its banks and heaped misery on people right across the country.

So what's next? Well, God struck the Egyptians down with three days of darkness. With the way industrial relations are going here it can only be a matter of time before ESB (Irish Electricity Board) workers feel the need to come out in sympathy with their victimised brothers in the public service and strike us down with the same.

After that, it looks like boils on our skin. Budget Travel (an Irish travel company) went bust this week, leaving 747 of their customers overseas. Do you honestly think that Boeing number is just a coincidence? It's a sign. Now that the traditional Irish method of getting boils - flying to Spain for a fortnight and lying under the sun for 10 hours a day covered in cooking oil -- is getting more difficult, we can expect a summer sizzler to match our ferocious floods.

The question we need to ask now is: what have we done to deserve this? Was it something we said? Are we being punished? The beauty of living in a country built on a foundation of Catholic guilt is that we won't be short of answers to the question: what's wrong with us? We better find the correct answer soon though -- we can't take much more of this.

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