Ireland’s economy was one of the first to pick up speed following the global financial crisis. But how long can it keep accelerating for?
Ireland has seen boom and bust at both extremes of the scale over the past two decades. The so-called Celtic Tiger years (1995–2007) developed a residential property bubble that burst in spectacular fashion. The market peaked in 2006 with a combination of speculative building projects and spiralling prices. But by late 2011, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the shadow of the European sovereign debt crisis, house prices in Dublin were down 51 percent from their apex and apartment prices had dropped by over 60 percent.
Harsh times followed. Ireland chose not to spare the rod and spoil the child. The painful decisions it took — including wage adjustment and the gradual deleveraging of both private and public sector balance sheets — put the country fundamentally back on track. And since early 2013, property prices in the country have begun to recover in tandem with the economy, prompting the former Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to dub Ireland the “Celtic