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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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Electric Gates in the Celtic Tiger (John McDonagh)

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John McDonagh

Electric Gates in the Celtic Tiger

In March 2017, a lavish, 10,000 square foot property, Gorse Hill, on Vico Road in Howth, was placed on the market at an eye-watering €8.5 million. The O’Donnell family had resisted one of the highest profile evictions in the state since the onset of the crash in 2008, fighting Bank of Ireland all the way to the Supreme Court before being forced to leave and sell their home over unpaid debts of over €70 million. In 2006, the house was valued at over €21 million and much of the debt was raised against the seemingly inexorable rising value of the property, a common occurrence in the over-heated market of the Celtic Tiger era.

In the latter stages of the long-running and high-profile media saga, the O’Donnells found unlikely allies in the New Land League, a latter-day version of Michael Davitt’s nineteenth-century anti-eviction resistance movement. Nightly news reports featured its founder, Jerry Beades, disappearing behind the large imposing timber electric gates of Gorse Hill, pursued by journalists and TV cameras, all desperate for a glimpse of this icon of the boom. The repossession of Gorse Hill appeared to embody the attempt to make someone pay for all the excesses of the banking crisis, a trophy house of a family whose 1 billion property empire exemplified the worst extravagances of the era.

The assembled media, therefore, were confronted on a daily basis by the impressive...

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