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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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Ghost Estates (Rob Kitchin)

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Rob Kitchin

Ghost Estates

The term ‘ghost estate’ was first used by the economist David McWilliams in 2006 to describe empty or unfinished housing developments in Ireland. As the Celtic Tiger period ended and the crisis deepened, the term became part of the common lexicon of Ireland and a symbolic icon of the crash.

The National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) calculated that there were 620 such estates in Ireland at the end of 2009, where a ‘ghost estate’ was defined as a development of 10 or more houses in which 50% of the properties are either vacant or under construction. A Department of the Environment and Local Government survey in May 2010 revealed that there were 2,846 ‘unfinished estates’ in the country, a term employed to describe a housing estate of two or more housing units where development and services have not been completed and estates completed from 2007 onwards where 10% or more of units are vacant. The total number of units on these estates was 121,248, with planning permission for an additional 58,025. 78,195 units were occupied. 23,226 were complete and vacant, and 19,830 were under-construction. Only 429 estates had active construction at the time of the survey.

Ghost estates are universally referred to by the Irish State as ‘unfinished estates’. Indeed, the word ‘ghost’ is a somewhat of a misnomer in that nearly every estate had people living on them....

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