Dan McLaughlin. Remember him? Yeah, sure you do! You know, the economist guy with the Bank of Ireland who became one of the cheerleaders of the ‘celtic tiger’. Dan was a great man for figures and abbreviations. A few years back when the party was in full swing all RTE had to do was point a camera at Dan and he would let off a volley of CAPITAL LETTERS, percentages, numbers, and statistics to reassure us all that said party would not be coming to an end any time in the near future. The housing market was sound. The economy was in fantastic shape. Ireland was a world beater! Dan the man! Dan the Bullish Man!
Funny thing is that if you add a t to Bullish and then move the sh in front of the i you come up with possibly a more suitable and descriptive word for Dan. Go on. You know you want to try it!
Of course Dan the Bullish Man was only doing his job. And a bloody great job he did too. Talking up the property market, talking up the economy, talking up the bank that paid his wages. Sure what else would you expect him to do? Anyone with an ounce of wit would know that right? Anyone that is, apart from the mandarins in RTE who seemed to hang unquestionably on his every word.
One has to wonder at the wisdom of paying too much attention to the bullish outpourings of someone who clearly had a vested interest in talking up the economy. Nonetheless, Dan had his day. Bullishly telling us from TV screens, print and internet media, how wonderful life was. Always dapper, always well versed, Dan oozed positivity and confidence so that we all could feel good about ourselves as we spent our way to nirvana.
Then, one day, without warning or fanfare, Dan the Bullish Man, disappeared. Disappeared before our very eyes he did, and since that day not a trace of him has been found. RTE in particular seem to have great difficulty in finding him. Apparently a huge search was conducted within the RTE campus for him. Every basement, disused studio, props department, and costume cupboard was thoroughly searched but they found no sign of the man. Many RTE staff and personnel were asked to check the outhouses and sheds of their houses in the hope he might have followed them home, but alas, nothing. Some say he has taken himself to the desert to live the life of a hermit in an attempt to reshape his vision of the world. Others claim to have seen him in many places around the world, yet none can pin him to one location.
It seems that Dan the Bullish Man has completely slipped off the radar of the Irish psyche and having blazed a trail during the boom years, has finally been put out to grass.
I wonder why?