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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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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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Ahern, Bertie (Sean Barrett)

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Sean Barrett

Ahern, Bertie

Politicians associated with the Irish bank bailout paid a heavy price. The government elected in 2007 comprised Fianna Fáil with 78 Dáil seats and the Green Party with six seats. In the 2011 election Fianna Fáil secured 20 seats and the Greens none. This was an unprecedented loss of Dáil members from an outgoing government.

Two Taoisigh associated with the bank bailout gave evidence to the Oireachtas Banking Inquiry, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen. Their evidence given in July 2015 and their written submissions to the Inquiry provides insight into why the political odium attached to the bank bailout was so strong, even when compared to the banks themselves and the failed regulatory agencies such as the Central Bank, the Financial Regulator and the Department of Finance. The success of the auditors of Irish banks in avoiding public excoriation for the bailout is remarkable, considering the price paid by the government of the day.

Bertie Ahern was Taoiseach from June 26, 1997 to May 7, 2008. His Witness Statement to the Banking Inquiry on July 16, 2015 was divided into four main sections, which are listed below with Mr Ahern’s observations in each case:

1. Nature and effectiveness of operational implementation of macro-economic and prudential policy. Mr Ahern’s presentation emphasises the real GDP growth rate of 7.25% over the decade to 2006 at more than double that of the US and triple...

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