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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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Sports (Shaen Corbet)

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Shaen Corbet

Sports

Ireland has developed a significant reputation for its ability to compete above its weight across a range of sports, an amazing feature for a country with a pre-Celtic Tiger population of approximately 4 million people. This achievement was even more impressive considering that soccer, being the most-played and broadly the most supported game in the country during this time, had to compete with hurling, football, rugby and a range of other interests such as boxing, basketball, athletics, horse-racing and Formula One. Across these individual sports, Irish fans had also gained a strong international reputation as both a vibrant and exceptionally mobile group.

As rugby fans in recent years, in the midst of the exceptional success of the national team and the four provinces, might fail to recall, Ireland until then had not been consistently successful. Although largely considered to be associated with the decision of the English teams not to compete in 1999, Ulster won their first European cup at a politically charged Lansdowne Road in the presence of many of those involved in the development and completion of the Good Friday Agreement. This also acted as the starting point for what has been a 20-year upward trajectory of Irish rugby.

The very next year saw the start of Munster’s decade-long fairytale, which resulted in two European Cup wins in 2006 and 2008, releasing the shackles of two very tight losses in both 2000 and 2002. It is probably...

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