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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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Social Housing (Lorcan Sirr)


Lorcan Sirr

Social Housing

Right in the midst of the Celtic Tiger, Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 introduced a requirement for developers to allocate 20% of their units for sale in developments of more than five units to the local authority at a reduced price for use as social and/or affordable housing. The then Minister for the Environment, Noel Dempsey, deserves a paragraph in Irish housing history for this innovative (for Ireland) move. This was an almost continental-style policy move that put an onus on the private sector to contribute to social housing provision whilst also trying to ensure a degree of social mix. Not everybody was impressed with Noel Dempsey’s commitment to social justice, however, and it wasn’t long until his successor, Martin Cullen, neutered the requirement by allowing developers to provide alternative land or money instead of actual housing. The upshot was that instead of delivering 20% social housing, between 2002 and 2011 less than 4% of all housing built was social housing: this was 9,393 houses in total, only 3,757 of which (or 2.7% of the total housing output for the period) were for local authorities.

Even in the heady years of the Celtic Tiger, there was a considerable need for social housing. The downside of Dempsey’s plan was that it took pressure off local authorities to keep building social housing that in turn took pressure off government to keep funding local authorities to do...

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