Interpretations of the Irisheconomiccrash
‘Ireland is not Greece’ is one of the slogans most beloved of the Irish
elite. It provides both a comforting image of stability and a threat that
life could be far worse if people do not conform. It also helps to change
frames of reference so that instead of a focus on what has been lost since
the crash of 2008, the comparison becomes how much worse it could
have been. Yet the scale of economic devastation that has occurred is
truly astounding. Let us take just two indicators.
In 2008, the
Once held up as a 'poster child' for untrammeled capitalist globalisation, the Irish Republic has more recently come to represent a cautionary tale for those tempted to tread the same neoliberal path. The crash in the world economy had especially grave repercussions for Ireland, and a series of austerity measures has seen the country endure the most substantial 'adjustment' ever experienced in a developed society during peacetime. This book delineates the reactionary course that Ireland has followed since the ignominious demise of the Celtic Tiger. It argues that the forces of neoliberalism have employed the economic crisis they caused to advance policies that are in their own narrow interests, and that the host of regressive measures imposed since the onset of global recession has fundamentally restructured Irish society. The book discusses the mechanisms by which finance in Ireland sustains and reproduces itself, in particular how it was able to protect itself during the 2008 crisis. Property was at the centre of the second phase of the Celtic Tiger boom after US investment in manufacturing began to decline, leading to the Irish economic crash. The years since the onset of the recession in Ireland in 2008 have been characterised not by passivity and quietism but by extreme violence. In December 2009 as part of the first wave of austerity, the Community Development Project was informed that the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs proposed not to continue funding the project beyond the end of 2009.
Ireland is a turbulent place. This book engages readers with the contours of transformation of Irish society through a series of distinct episodes and sites where change can be confronted. The content of the book intersects with the boom and bust themes to explore the economic and social implications of the recession. The processes are as diverse as cross-border development, farming knowledges, food movements, and the evolution of traditional Irish music. The modernisation of Irish society during the Celtic Tiger and its subsequent demise was a 'spatial drama' involving transformation in the material landscape and the imaginative representation of the island. The first part of the book explores the revolving intersections of identity politics with place. It tracks the discovery of the ghost estate and the ways in which it has been implicated in debates about the Irish economic crash, complicating ideas of home and community. After a discussion on immigration, the book discusses the role of migrants in filling labour and skill shortages. The second part pays attention to questions of mobility and consumption in urban and rural contexts. The new Irish motorway network, free time, leisure and holidaying in the lives of lone parents during the Celtic Tiger, and the role of National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are discussed. The third part explores diverse cultural practices and some longstanding representations of Ireland. An autobiographical tour of the pub session, National Geographic's representations of Irish landscape and the current Irish imagination are the key concepts of this part.
), Cian O’Callaghan
interprets the now iconic ghost estates of half-finished and empty houses that
litter the Irish landscape and have become a symbol of the abandoned excess
of the Celtic Tiger. The geography of such estates charts the fevered speculation, uneven development, and unsustainable commuting and consumption
patterns of the boom while the stark hauntology of these post-crash spaces
confronts its values. This chapter tracks the discovery of the ghost estate and
the ways in which it has been implicated in debates about the Irisheconomiccrash, complicating
, 20 August
2015, p. 13.
56 D. Scally, ‘How Clueless Irish Pundits Misrepresented Germany’, Irish Times, 16
September 2013, p. 3; D. Scally, ‘When it comes to Late-Night Euro Zone Deals
Ireland, West Germany and the New Europe
Germany will always be blamed’, Irish Times, 25 March 2013, p. 3; D. Scally, ‘We
should not Blame German Banks for IrishEconomicCrash’, Irish Times, 18 August
2015, p. 12.
57 D. Scally, ‘Blame for German Bank Collapse lies a Lot Closer to Home than Dublin,
Study Reveals’, Irish Times, 30 November 2012, p. 7.
58 A fine
Church, or the Celtic Tiger, the Irish writer becomes more
recognisable as a public intellectual in an international literary marketplace.44 Enright has also used her own prominent position to call
for more attention to other women writers as well and for women’s
perspectives in general to be regarded as at least equally valuable as
those of men.45
The gathering is set in 1998, around the time that the Celtic Tiger
took its famous leap; it was published in 2007, just as the beast was
beginning its headlong descent into the rubble of the Irisheconomiccrash. The novel