Celtic Tiger Ireland



Image Celtic Tiger

Letter sent to the IRISH INDEPENDENT newspaper


Now that the Celtic Tiger has a firm grip on our country have we lost our true identity?
Granted we are more prosperous, more adventurous and wealthier than ever before but as a consequence have we lost our uniqueness that makes us distinctively Irish?
A house in 1970 cost the equivalent of the average Industrial wage for a year. Today it costs six or seven times this figure. What was once a basic necessity is now unobtainable for a lot of young families. The divide between the haves and the have-nots has definitely widened. First time buyers are being forced out of the market by holiday home buyers.
We now work harder and longer than ever before but fewer and fewer of us have anything to show for it. Everybody is greedier and everybody wants their slice of the cake to have and to eat.
Working moms are under more stress than ever before. They work forty hours weeks and spend every other moment doing housework and trying to hold a family together. When they have paid the crèche bill and the mortgage they are hard pushed to have any change.
Are we the product of social status gone mad? We are all rushing around in our jungle striving for survival and like our aristocratic ancestors we are all still trying to be Kings of our castles. In medieval times castles and fortifications were used as protection from enemies. Today we seem to be re-enacting this tradition by outdoing the extravagance of our neighbours. A house won’t do it has to be a grandiose statement of who we think we are. Is this really progress?
Credit companies play mercilessly on our new insecurities. We have to keep up with the Jones. We are all exhausted, we have zero family life and we make ourselves feel better by having as much bling as we can lay our hands on. We have to have the new plasma screen T.V. One weeks holiday won’t do we’ll have to have two. If them down the road can afford a new conservatory well so bloody well can I.
As we lament our recent Eurovision flops is there a pattern emerging? For
years we were the underdogs, ‘the begging bowl of Europe’, but we had a passion about us, we had character and we were uniquely Irish, but today are we are just one of the many nations all plodding along in this infinite rat race. We may now have more stuff and a less time than ever before but is this really progress?

Yours etc,

Mary Kelly-Godley


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