It has been nearly a year since the British government closed the De Lorean Motor Co. plant in Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, losing 2,600 jobs in the bargain, and the Irish economic future is as bleak as ever. Representatives of more than 10 U.S. companies have visited Northern Ireland this year, but none has made any commitments. And, while Hughes Tool Co. and Lear Fan Ltd. have construction projects under way outside Belfast, they have not filled the void left by De Lorean.

The bottom line: a net loss. Unemployment now stands at 21% -- a 2% increase over January 1982.