The causes of the Irish economic miracle have been much analysed; less so its effects. John Murray Brown’s cover story in the new issue of Prospect looks at the new breed of Irish rich: the men—and they do seem to be almost exclusively male—who have profited from Ireland’s long economic boom and particularly its leap in property prices. These men represent the first big, indigenous moneyed class in Ireland, and they are having a profound effect on the way the Irish see themselves.
Interestingly, despite the fact that the extraordinary enrichment of Ireland has started to have an effect on the British economy—as Murray Brown says, in London, few big property deals get done these days without some form of Irish involvement—British media and politicians have largely ignored it. But as Ireland gets richer and more confident—its GDP per capita is now comfortably ahead of Britain’s—it is starting to care less about what its larger neighbour thinks.
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