Begorra! As Ireland's finances continue to collapse, we offer a backgrounder on how the recession and crash of the property market have changed Ireland's economy beyond recognition.
Dole collection day in Dublin. For everyone in the endless queue, tomorrow is full of uncertainty. Redundancy rates are booming and many now rely on charities to survive. The prognosis is bleak: 'We forecast that unemployment will continue rising to at least 15%.' In Limerick alone, up to 10,000 jobs have been lost in past months. 'This is the equivalent to a nuclear attack on the Midwest region,' says the mayor. There are widespread complaints about the government's incompetence- ; nine months into the crisis and still no rescue package in sight. This year, Ireland's economy is due to shrink by an alarming 8%. The impact on people's lives is keenly felt. 'Many phoning up are on the brink of ending it', says Paul of Console Helpline. Sadly, his phone is sure to keep ringing for a while yet.

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