Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Celtic Tiger

Upon arrival to Ireland the phrase ‘Celtic Tiger’ was mentioned numerous times. It became clear early on that this time had a huge impact on not only the layout of the city but on the people of Ireland. After covering the Celtic Tiger in Seamus’ class I have learned of both and the reasons that it has since fallen. The Celtic Tiger was the most important economic boom that the country of Ireland has ever seen. Known as ‘The Boom’ or the ‘Economic Miracle’, the Celtic Tiger has the world in awe of its growth and economic success. In the years 1994 to 2000, this small country grew in astronomical proportions. The year 1994 marked the unofficial birth date of the Celtic Tiger; its growth advanced at a historically unprecedented average of 6.9 per cent annually. This development is easily attributed to two main causes today, an increase in the amount of people working and an increase in working productivity. During this period not only did the workforce nearly double, but the growth of output per worker grew 3-4% greater each year. The answer to how such growth took place in such a short amount of time is hidden within both internal and external influences, which allowed for the previously stated causes to emerge.
A view of the Docklands
Docklands Development Authority
Understanding that the Celtic Tiger was not nearly as systematic as hoped, it is evident that for Ireland, the country fell into a great economic boom partly consciously and partly by luck. This mixture lead to a great deal of change for the country and unfortunately has been a learning experience in disguise as yet another recession has hit. As a study abroad student, it is interesting to note the extreme growth that the Celtic Tiger has left behind, particularly in the case of the Docklands. On our tour of the Docklands we learned of the major plans undertaken by the Dockland’s Authority. Although many of the projects were completed, there were various towers including the U2 tower, which were never started--- due to the lack of funding. Our tour group was literally the last group to pass through the Docklands Authority building. It was extremely daunting to hear the amount of stress and sadness that was in the voice of one of the members fully invested in the project as she relayed her story. This authority, comprised of well-established individuals, worked for most of their careers on what is unfortunately considered to be a failure. In my personal opinion the Docklands promise huge potential. Once Ireland comes out of its recession the Docklands will surely attract the public they once hoped to. The Docklands is just one of the many places visited where traces of an economic boom are extremely apparent. 

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