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Recalling the Celtic Tiger


Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Advertising (Patricia Medcalf)


Patricia Medcalf


The years preceding the Celtic Tiger were quite unremarkable in terms of advertising activity in Ireland. Total spend by advertisers across the various media rose modestly from IR£163.8 million in 1990 to IR£223.8 million in 1994. Tony Meenaghan categorised Ireland as an ‘under-advertised’ economy at that stage in its development when compared to many other countries, including the UK, where advertising spend as a percentage of GDP was almost twice that of Ireland. This would change dramatically, and activity in the advertising sector perfectly encapsulates the trajectory of the Irish economy between 1994 and 2008 – steady growth, superseded by a frenetic spending spree by companies, consumers and the government, all culminating in a precipitous fall, the consequences of which are well documented.

The strengthening economy gave companies the confidence, and the finances required, to invest in advertising. At the same time, a number of media outlets were launched, thus affording advertisers more choice and better targeting opportunities. The seeds of this expansion in the media landscape were sown in 1988, a year that marked the start of the enactment of a number of broadcasting acts by the Independent Radio and TV Commission (IRTC). These paved the way for the rapid growth in licences granted to local radio stations in the nineties, all driven by a commercial imperative and funded primarily by advertising. Similarly, the television backdrop was redrawn and in 1996, TG4 commenced broadcasting, soon to be followed by...

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