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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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Peace Process and Anglo-Irish Relations (Mick Fealty)

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Mick Fealty

Peace Process and Anglo-Irish Relations

In terms of Anglo-Irish relations, the Tiger years are synonymous with the most successful years of the Northern Irish years when Bertie and Ahern and Tony Blair made peace in Northern Ireland a top priority for both the Irish and British administrations. A report on a survey for the British Council in 2003, noted how the two men seemed to ‘work well together, are in the same age bracket and they seem to be in one line of thought’. This close alignment followed almost a century of British–Irish discord.

The technology boom, which drove the Irish economy, peaked in 1996, and came roughly midway between the ceasefires of 1994 and the historic compromises, contained within the Belfast Agreement. The convergence of British and Irish interests along with Ireland’s increased capacity and resources provided both countries with an opportunity ‘to make a lasting settlement of the Northern Ireland question a more attainable option’.

The Belfast Agreement replaced the territorial claim on Northern Ireland in Articles 2 and 3 with an aspiration ‘to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions’. The north–south and east–west strands of the Belfast Agreement also established a framework for cooperation and agenda-setting through cross cutting bodies including at the most senior international level, the British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference.

However, both governments invested...

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