It was the 1950’s. I think it might have been on Wednesdays, but it could have been Thursdays. From where we lived, you could hear the mooing of the cattle as they were driven up through Stoneybatter (a Dublin north inner-city area) to the markets. They were being herded there to be bought and sold. Ireland’s second biggest export.
What was Ireland’s biggest export in the 1950s? It was its people.
Driven from their own land by a failed experiment to make Ireland self-sufficient behind tariff barriers. We had biscuit factories, canned bean factories, and chocolate factories that survived because of tariffs. We had factories that put back together cars that had been built in the UK and then “knocked down” so they could be reassembled in Ireland. We called it the Irish car industry. In truth, it was little more than Lego for grown-ups. Playing at being the real thing.
Ireland in the 1950s was a sour and sad place. The best and the brightest went elsewhere. Poverty was the price you paid for unfettered sovereignty. I should know. Where I grew up, an outside toilet was considered a luxury.