19 Jul 2012

The Celtic Retreat

The Celtic Tiger was the longest period of economic growth ever achieved in Ireland. The country went from having one of the highest rates of unemployment in Europe to almost full employment. Net outward emigration was turned into net inward migration, for the first time in its modern history people from other countries came here looking for work. Credit became available to all and people loaded themselves with debt, with the belief it could be paid back.

People where convinced to get on the property ladder and buy their own property. Banks, estate agents, the media and politicians where all complicit in encouraging the population, that now was the time to buy a house. Despite the rapid acceleration of house prices at the turn of the century the demand for housing continued increasing until it hit its peak in 2006.

Public spending also greatly increased during the Celtic Tiger. Both welfare recipients and public servants benefited from wage increases well above the rate of inflation. Spending on Infrastructure also increased with the country benefiting from improvements in roads, telecommunications and public transport.

The Celtic Tiger was built on strong foundations, but by 2007 these foundations were cracking and by September 2008 these foundations would fall apart, leaving behind an exposed and shattered Ireland in its wake.

This blog will attempt to identify those groups, people and institutions most effected by the Celtic Retreat.


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