... this time it really is nigh.
The airwaves, newspapers and general office chit-chat have been filled over the last few days with Professor Morgan Kelly's (known to his critics as "Dr. Doom") article in the Irish Times on how Ireland is, well, basically screwed.
This will not be news to most people in Ireland, as it has been a regular fact of life for the last wee while that we are, as a nation, simply broke. What is interesting (and indeed worrying) in Prof. Morgan's article is his point that Ireland is about to to be relegated out of the Premier League of independent states, and straight into the Vauxhall Conference of vaguely self-governing entities that are under the thumb of a larger neighbour:
"The issue of national sovereignty has for so long been the monopoly of republican headbangers that it is hard to know whether ordinary, sane Irish people still care about it. Either way, we will not be having it around much longer."
For a pleasant change, it will not be perfidious Albion who will be depriving us of our independence; this time, we're going to be succumbing to the economic might of Germany.
Of course, this all hinges on the idea that Germany will bail out the Eurozone, and will take up the reins of real (read economic) power in Ireland and the other EU nations that can't foot their own bills. But what happens if the creation of an economic empire is simply too unpalatable to the German voter (as is quite possible)? What happens if Germany pulls out of the Euro, leaving the currency as the bottle-cap of the international markets, suitable only for bankrupts like Ireland (watch this space) and Greece?