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The Celtic tiger’s underbelly

Talk about Ireland's stunning economic success in recent years tends to neglect the darker side of the boom

By Mary Fitzgerald   January 2008

During the latter half of the last decade, Ireland boasted the fastest-growing economy in the developed world. Grafton Street, Dublin’s main shopping thoroughfare, now charges the sixth highest rental yields of any street on the globe—€4,496 per square metre—and one third of all houses in Ireland were built in the last ten years. But this façade of economic health hides a lingering malaise.

Ireland may have become wealthier, but the gap between the new “super rich” John Murray Brown describes in his January cover story for Prospect and those who live at the other end of the scale has widened…

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