In the middle of the last decade, Dublin became famous as the centre of the mysteriously successful ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy. Many Dubliners – knowing this would all end in disaster – watched in amazement as world leaders came to learn about economics from Irish political leaders. When the Chinese prime minister came to learn about Irish economics, we started to worry about China.
The success of the Celtic Tiger economy was mysterious because many of the Irish political leaders, businessmen and bankers, were clearly corrupt. The Irish media, historically close to the Establishment – showed no appetite for investigating the corruption. In 2005, when the Financial Times wrote of ‘crony capitalism’ and wild west style lack of regulation in Dublin, Irish politicians dismissed the charges. One year later, the truth started to come out. The economy teetered and crashed. The emigration has started again, and an air of gloomy anxiety has settled over the town.
more in issue 8