Despite all the talk about the banks and the scandalous bailout costs, the real price being paid by the ordinary working people of this country is still out of sight to the commercial press. I was in Limerick today, where I usually live but not at the moment, and having been away 2 months the state of the place is shocking. I was walking down O'Connell St to William St coming from the direction of the Island and for the first third of the way the left hand side of the street was nothing but boarded up shops; Cruises St was deserted and quite a few of the shops there were closed and boarded up. The situation around the bus station is similar, with deserted & abandoned shops and all the rest of it. The only new 'developments' I saw were a pawn shop, and a couple of pound shops, including one on O'Connell St where there used to be a record shop. I must say I was speechless at the extent of the economic death spiral and urban decay that has taken root in the city centre there. Its the 3rd city of the state ffs, and the state of the place is a damning indictment of Fianna Fáil gombeen capitalism and the disastrous effects of over-dependence on the 'benevolence' of foreign multi national corporations.