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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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Unfinished Estates (Lorcan Sirr)


Lorcan Sirr

Unfinished Estates

A rather ‘one dimensional and simplistic’ (Kenna, 2009) approach to housing policy and supply led to a significant oversupply of housing when mortgage lending dried up in 2008. This oversupply was evident in the 620 estates in which 50% or more of the housing units were unoccupied, under development or unfinished. These were known as ‘ghost estates’ due to the lack of occupants. 86 of these developments had 50 or more housing units.

There were several reasons why Ireland ended up with an oversupply of housing – with most of this oversupply somewhat perversely in areas where diminishing or no demand had ever existed – and the biggest reason was poor planning practice by local authorities. According to certain commentators, what emerged was a pattern of housing development that ran counter to what one would have expected or hoped for in the context of good planning. Essentially, a number of local authorities did not: heed good planning guidelines and regional and national objectives; conduct sensible demographic profiling of potential demand; or take account of the fact that much of the land zoned lacks essential services such as water and sewerage treatment plants, energy supply, public transport or roads.

Instead, planning permissions for housing development and the zoning and re-zoning of land to residential use were facilitated by the abandonment of basic planning principles by elected representatives on the local and national stage, often driven by the demands of local people,...

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