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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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Communications (Brian O’Neill)

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Brian O’Neill

Communications

The Celtic Tiger coincided with extraordinary changes in both the economy and technology of Irish media. The extent to which these can be attributed to the prevailing economic circumstances or would have come about anyway as a result of an evolving media scene is open to debate. Media were so much part of the Zeitgeist of the Celtic Tiger era that more than a decade later, it can be difficult to separate those aspects that are simply artefacts of Ireland’s overheated economy as opposed to a more fundamental process of technological change. Regardless, it is the case that Ireland’s media, both legacy and new, emerged from this period in a greatly transformed and much less certain state.

To position Irish media during the Celtic Tiger, it is important to consider the wider contours shaping the media landscape through this critical period. As observed by Horgan and Flynn in their updated edition of Irish Media, A Critical History (2017), the Celtic Tiger was particularly kind to Irish media. The buoyant economy contributed unprecedented advertising revenues to media organisations. Despite the collapse of the Irish Press in 1995, and the onset of online publishing, both regional and national press experienced increased circulation and new titles. Independent commercial radio, formally launched with the Broadcasting Act of 1990, had consolidated and established an evenly balanced share of the audience between local, commercial and national public radio. TV3, Ireland’s first commercial channel, was established in 1998,...

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