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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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Mobile Technology (Eugene O’Brien)

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Eugene O’Brien

Mobile Technology

At the beginning of the Celtic Tiger, in the early 1990s, mobile technology was not really a factor in Irish life. Seeing car phones on television was quite exotic and watching characters on television or film holding what looked like large walkie-talkies was a glimpse into a different world. Like answering machines, coffee on the go and a sense of economic optimism, such phenomena were not the norm in the Ireland of the 1980s.

Now, as I write this entry, I have Google tabs open on my mobile phone so that I can research aspects of mobile technology and I am writing on a laptop in a train. Mobile technology enables me to work as efficiently from a train or a plane as from my office. The evolution of technology has been huge, and mobile technology was a significant part of the Celtic Tiger at all levels. On average, people check their phone 57 times a day and 44% of the population check it during the night, 40% within five minutes of waking up.

Eircell commenced operation in 1986 as the Mobile and Broadcast division of Telecom Éireann, and it handled the Irish mobile phone networks from 1984 until its transfer to Vodafone in 2001. Usage of the service remained low until it became a separate subsidiary, Eircell Limited, in 1997. In October 1997, Eircell introduced the analogue prepaid pay-as-you-go system under the ‘Ready To Go brand’, and...

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