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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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Fine Gael–Labour Government 2011–2016 (Eugene O’Brien)


Eugene O’Brien

Fine Gael–Labour Government 2011–2016

The general election of 2011 saw a sea change in Irish politics. In the wake of the financial crash and the bailout, and amid austerity measures that were biting across the whole country, Fianna Fáil went from 77 seats to 20 and were clearly no longer in a position to form a government. The major beneficiaries of the election were Fine Gael, who went from 51 to 76 sears, Labour, who went from 20 to 37 seats, and Sinn Féin, who went from five to 14 seats (though there was surprise that a party of protest did not do better in the midst of swingeing austerity). A series of negotiations took place between the parties, which were generally seen as amicable.

Enda Kenny was set to be Taoiseach, something that seemed unlikely in 2010 when he was the subject of a challenge from Richard Bruton, after a poll had seen the Labour party as the most popular in Ireland. Nine of the Fine Gael Front Bench felt that Kenny would not be vibrant enough to lead them into government. However, with the aid of Phil Hogan, later to become an EU Commissioner, Alan Shatter and Michael Noonan, who had hitherto been languishing on the backbenches, Kenny prevailed and now had triumphed in an election.

As a result, on March 9, 2011, a new government was sworn in, with Enda Kenny as Taoiseach,...

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