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If anyone had suggested a few years ago, that Ireland would be in a deep recession, that Waterford Crystal would be occupied, that Labour would be ahead of Fianna Fáil in the polls and that we would be more or less on the brink of a one day general strike,  they would have been told to go and put some water in the glass to help wash down the whiskey. The whole place was booming, houses popping up everywhere, more motorways than spaghetti junction and thousands of people returning home from abroad to join the boom.