ONE-in-five young people have attempted to renegotiate personal debt with their banks in the last year.
The true impact on families of bailing out the banks is laid bare today in the result of an extensive poll.
It finds that huge numbers of city dwellers are routinely being forced to plead with bankers for leniency as they struggle to repay their own loans and mortgages.
And the Evening Herald/Millward Browne survey of over 1,000 people suggested that most people don't expect the economy to recover soon.
Attempts to prop up basketcase institutions like Anglo Irish Bank have left ordinary workers facing financial ruin.
Most punters believe that it will be at least four years before Ireland is back to business as usual.
The poll discovered that the financial burden on large sections of society is greater than they can bear.
The onslaught of the pay cuts, extra taxes to bailout the banks and the universal social charge has left tens of thousands struggling with loans and mortgages.
Young professionals, who are the most likely to have families and bought property during the boom years, are in the biggest difficulty.
A massive one-in-four people aged between 35 and 49 years have asked for meetings with their bank managers.
Another 18pc aged between 25 and 34 years have had to beat a similar path to their lender. There is little difference in how the economic crash is affecting men and women but it is the most affluent who are in the most trouble.
Some 19pc of professionals in the AB category have entered renegotiation talks with their banks, versus just 12pc of DEs.
The self employed make up the largest single body of people to have re-negotiated terms with their banks, closely followed by the unemployed.
OAPs, who have had their pensions protected from budget cuts and are the least likely to have brought property in recent years, are the least worried about their financial situation.
Just 4pc of people in the over-65 age group said that they were forced to contact their bank in the past year.
It also appears that people are struggling to escape the air of negativity that has gripped the country for the past two years.
A massive 41pc believe that it will take longer than the five-year term just handed to Enda Kenny to get the economy moving again.
A significant 15pc of people surveyed said that it will take four to five years before we see an uplift in the economy.
And 11pc said that the turnaround would take between three and four years.
Similarly 11pc said that it can be done within two years, with 16pc suggesting it will take two or three years.
Those most optimistic are the young -- 14pc of them feel we will recover within two years but it must be remembered that a previous Herald poll found that a large percentage of them expect to emigrate over the next year.