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Ireland Austerity brings a lot of pain on top of pain

... will push through some four billion euros in spending cuts next year, with social welfare benefits, public pensions and capital projects all set for the chop.

"I'm afraid for the future, I'm afraid for the country and everyone around me," said Maeve, a retired lecturer who broke into tears when talking about economic hardship at the Moore Street market in central Dublin.

"I look at the misery around me and wonder what will happen to this country," she said, as icy rain pelted the Christmas shop windows in the inner-city.

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So many people hurting and desperate, but the orchestra has yet to play the first note in this tragedy. We are waiting for the conductor to remove the first seal on the baton.
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