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By prospect   February 2007

Before Ireland’s gold rush

Ireland has become so rich, so fast—it now has far higher GDP per capita than Britain—that it doesn’t know what to do with its old self-image, based on wit and bloody-mindedness in the face of grinding poverty. But only yesterday—1976, to be precise—the country was so poor that it could barely afford to pay for the prime minister Liam Cosgrave and his small delegation to fly to the US for St Patrick’s day. Newly published Irish state papers from 1976 reveal that the government had planned to present President Ford with The Orderly Book of…

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