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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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IMMA (Sarah Kelleher)


Sarah Kelleher


The opening of Ireland’s Museum of Modern Art in 1991 was a milestone for Irish art, reflective of both changing cultural priorities and a growing confidence and ambition regarding Ireland’s position on the international stage. An institution that had been proposed in different forms for decades, IMMA was anticipated in major projects throughout the twentieth century, from the foundation of the Dublin Municipal Gallery (later the Hugh Lane) in 1908, to the organisation of the Rosc exhibitions from 1967. The museum that finally opened in 1991 was the culmination of years of concerted effort from important figures in the history of Irish art from critic Dorothy Walker to collector Gordon Lambert. Timed to coincide with a moment when Dublin was the focus of international attention as the European Capital of Culture, the opening of IMMA represents a reframing of Ireland’s cultural production from a previous emphasis on literature, and an assertion of Ireland’s visual arts on the world stage.

Dublin’s designation as European Capital of Culture came when the country was still in the economic doldrums: however, it was a uniquely effective spur for state investment in culture. IMMA was just one facet of a programme of significant capital development projects, along with the Dublin Writer’s Museum and, later that year, the inauguration of the Temple Bar Cultural Quarter redevelopment scheme. Perhaps inevitably, given the stakes involved, IMMA was attended by controversy from the outset. Originally two potential locations for the...

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