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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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Progressive Democrats (Constantin Gurdgiev)

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Constantin Gurdgiev

Progressive Democrats

The Progressive Democrats was a political party born out of the widespread public disillusionment with corruption that characterised those at the forefront in Charles Haughey’s Ireland. It went on to preside, as an ideological crutch to Bertie Ahern’s parish-pump politicking and governance-rules-bending Fianna Fáil, over the creation of the Celtic Tiger and its destruction. As such, one might as well argue that the Progressive Democrats were a cure that made the Irish disease of mis-governance and poor leadership incurable.

The PDs were launched in December 1985 by Des O’Malley and led by a group of ex-Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael politicians who were broadly supportive of a liberal (if not moderately libertarian) social policy agenda, including liberalisation of divorce, contraception and other progressive social policies, while advocating classical liberal positions on economic deregulation, privatisation and low taxation. Originally, the PDs also supported fiscal conservativism and welfare reforms aimed at incentivising higher labour force participation and lower social welfare dependency.

Although founded to contain the Fianna Fáil’s corruption and parish-pump politics, the PDs ended up as junior partners in coalition governments with Fianna Fáil in 1989–92 and 1997–2009. Proving that the lap dog’s power corrupts no less than absolute power does, the PDs have punched well above their electorally rather invisible weight. During the Celtic Tiger days, the party pushed through a pro-business, low tax economic agenda and presided over the systemic dismantling...

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