Immigration and the Celtic Tiger
in From prosperity to austerity
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Bryan Fanning argues that the large-scale immigration into Ireland during the Celtic Tiger period had its roots in a post-1950s nation-building project of economic development which superseded an economically and culturally isolationist Irish-Ireland period. The lack of political debate about this post-1990s immigration is an eloquent silence and Fanning attempts to fill the void by offering an insightful discussion of immigration in the Celtic Tiger period. This chapter focuses on sociological explanations for Ireland's apolitical embrace of social transformation through immigration during the first decade of the twenty-first century. The speed with which this occurred owed much to the economic boom. Prosperity fostered the quiet transformation of Ireland but did not on its own explain the lack of political controversy about immigration and the absence of anti-immigrant politics even when boom turned to bust and the large-scale emigration of Irish citizens resumed. The chapter notes that immigrants who found themselves displaced from Ireland during the economic crash found themselves on the same boats and planes as Irish citizens displaced through unemployment from Ireland. Immigrants who managed to remain in employment seemed to be as integrated or socially included as any other such fortunate members of Irish society.

From prosperity to austerity

A socio-cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath

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