Olivia O'leary tells the story of the biggest economic crisis Ireland has ever known and its search for a post-crash identity.
For the last 20 years the Irish economy was the pride of Europe. If the rush to riches was very un-Irish, Olivia tries to find out if her country is now reverting to a more familiar state of penance. William Butler Yeats described the indigenous character trait as an abiding sense of tragedy that sustained people through temporary periods of joy.
For many younger people, who were told that they had more money and more freedom than any previous generation, the maudlin emigration songs with their tales of yearning and aching loneliness felt like stories from a distant era. Suddenly, though, they no longer feel so remote. As the shutters are pulled down on job opportunities at home, the harsh prospect of having to find work abroad is all too real for thousands of young people.
Olivia finds that Ireland's economic crisis is far from over and finds out how the country is re-imagining itself anew.