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Luck Of The Irish Pays Off Big Time (Among World's Richest)
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 1-22-2007

Posted on 01/21/2007 5:41:34 PM PST by blam

Luck of the Irish pays off big time

Last Updated: 12:36am GMT 22/01/2007

The Big Issue seller standing outside a newsagent in a seaside celebrity hideaway was singularly unimpressed by Europe's most spectacular economic success story.

His reaction to the news that the Irish were now officially among the world's richest people was unprintable. As a purveyor of the homeless magazine in affluent Dalkey, the Dublin suburb where Bono, Enya and the film-maker Neil Jordan live, he was only too aware that the Celtic Tiger has yet to bestow its largesse on him.

Others have been much luckier, as the spiralling prices of the handsome homes overlooking the sea and their occupants' multi-million euro bank balances testify.

The transformation of Ireland from a rural backwater to an economic powerhouse where big business and the developer reign supreme has been truly remarkable.

The latest extraordinary chapter in this fiscal renaissance has seen the once downtrodden victim of famine and mass emigration, recognised as the country with one of the highest incomes per capita in the world.

When that particular measure of wealth is used, Ireland sits at the very top of the international league table, according to a report by Standard & Poor, the respected provider of financial intelligence.

Surpassed only by tiny financial centres such as Bermuda and Liechtenstein and the oil-based economies of Qatar and Norway, Ireland comfortably outperforms the United States and Britain. Recording an income per head of £28,917, Ireland beat the US (£23,144) and comfortably saw off Britain's figure of £20,714.

"It's great, isn't it," said John O'Brien, a green-grocer taking a break from serving the well-to-do customers taking his wares home in their Chelsea tractors.

"Everybody's making millions. But I seem to be working harder and harder. Everyone else is cleaning up, though. It is great to see people doing well. But the people who are making the real money are the property speculators."

His last point was borne out in the windows of the local estate agents where even quite modest dwellings were on sale for more than a million euros.

"The chattering classes, who own property, are thrilled by the values," said Tom O'Higgins, the owner of Remax Property Choice estate agents.

"I am lucky enough to live in Dalkey, but I happen to have a large family of eight kids. Unfortunately there is no way they are going to be able afford to buy a house near their family. We are going to have to come to terms with the social consequences of this property bonanza."

Economists believe low taxation policies, generous payments from the European Union, increased stability in Northern Ireland, American investment and a highly skilled, but relatively low-cost, labour force have encouraged the boom.

But another questionable side-effect has been the failure of Ireland's infrastructure to keep up with large scale construction projects and a resurgent population.

For those reluctant to join the ever enlarging helicopter owning set, the congestion on the roads can be infuriating. The government has embarked on a huge road-building programme, but it has yet to catch up with the exponential increase in car ownership seen over the past decade.

"Given that we are supposedly so well off, they are not looking after the people," said Catherine Dunne, a worker with Credit Union, the community financial co-operative.

"There are still huge inequalities here and the health service here is not good enough. Public transport is a joke. There are a lot of things that have to be done. Things are still too ad hoc."

The soaring prices were the main issue for Nicola Byrne, 20, a student living at home. "Everything is so expensive. I work in a shop to make ends meet, but I still find it quite difficult to afford a social life," she said.

But for others, the reversal of decades of economic stagnation that forced so many Irish to make a living abroad, is to be welcomed.

The declining population has been replaced with one in which under-45s make up 66 per cent of the total. Last year 70,000 people moved to the Republic of Ireland and the population currently standing at 4.3 million is expected to top five million by 2016.

"Ireland has changed radically over the past 16 years," said Ian McCarthy, the managing director of the estate agents Sherry FitzGerald. "We have changed from a country that people have traditionally left, to one in which people are now returning in their droves."

The downside, according to Luis Gonzalez, a Venezuelan who now recruits pupils to the Rockbrook private school nearby, has been a change in attitude.

The rustic, laid-back charm so long associated with Ireland was in danger of being superseded by a "greed is good" mentality.

"People are much more worried about material things than they used to be," he said.

"The pressure to do well is much higher. It is beneficial on the whole, because people that have a job can do well. But it is a two-way thing. Ireland seems to be going down the American route of consumerism. It has changed so much."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: economy; irish; luck; powerhouse
Intel is the largest single employer in Ireland.
1 posted on 01/21/2007 5:41:36 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Ireland, which had been dominated and poor for centuries, while Great Britain is falling apart.

The Irish would be wise to keep immigration at a minimum.


2 posted on 01/21/2007 5:45:00 PM PST by BW2221
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To: blam

Tax Cuts are a wonderful thing....


3 posted on 01/21/2007 5:50:10 PM PST by stylin19a
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To: blam

The "luck" of the Irish is our birth-given angel. Everyone who is Irish gets one. At least that is what keeps me on the strait and narrow.


4 posted on 01/21/2007 5:52:38 PM PST by mirkwood (good gun control is a sharp eye and a steady hand)
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To: Cacique; neverdem

Ping!


5 posted on 01/21/2007 5:54:00 PM PST by Clemenza (Put down that coffee! Coffee is for closers!)
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To: Irish_Thatcherite
--- I do not want what I haven't got
6 posted on 01/21/2007 5:56:44 PM PST by jla
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To: BW2221
The Irish would be wise to keep immigration at a minimum.

Totally irrelevant. Ireland was a dirt poor laughing stock of Europe without immigration.

It is tax cuts and US outsourcing that caused the turn around.

7 posted on 01/21/2007 6:00:42 PM PST by staytrue
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To: staytrue
Ireland was a dirt poor laughing stock of Europe without immigration.

Oh? Then which countries provided this great flood of immigrants to the verdant isle which permitted their economy to expand?
You may wish to update yourself on the population of the ROI and then make one of those pie charts that show percent of Irish and percent of others that make up the country.
The ROI's econ expansion came first, any burgeoning immigration was/is the result of that former.

8 posted on 01/21/2007 6:12:15 PM PST by jla
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To: staytrue
Earth to staytrue -

I thought it was obvious. I am referring to Islamic immigration, which has reduced Great Britain from being one of the world's great powers to what it has become today.

Show me a country with mass Islamic immigration and I'll show you a country that is in trouble.
9 posted on 01/21/2007 6:12:18 PM PST by BW2221
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--- result of the former.
10 posted on 01/21/2007 6:13:01 PM PST by jla
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To: BW2221

"The Irish would be wise to keep immigration at a minimum"

Too late. Been to Dublin lately?


11 posted on 01/21/2007 6:14:38 PM PST by SAMS ("I may look harmless, but I raised a U.S. MARINE!" Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: blam
As a purveyor of the homeless magazine

They have their own magazine? Talk about a niche market.

12 posted on 01/21/2007 6:16:48 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (We must have faith For when it is all said and done, Faith manages. And the impossible is achieved)
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To: blam

How about this one: Ireland keeps the Muzzies out, continues its smart economic policies and just over 100 years from now, it's the Irish Army liberating England from Dhimmitude.

Could it happen? ;-)


13 posted on 01/21/2007 6:17:59 PM PST by Mr J (All IMHO.)
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To: blam; Irish_Thatcherite; Happygal
"Given that we are supposedly so well off, they are not looking after the people," said Catherine Dunne, a worker with Credit Union, the community financial co-operative.

There are people everywhere, but especially Ireland, that are not happy unless they're miserable.

The soaring prices were the main issue for Nicola Byrne, 20, a student living at home. "Everything is so expensive. I work in a shop to make ends meet, but I still find it quite difficult to afford a social life," she said.

So tough!  My well educated wife came over to America nearly 20 years ago at just a few years older than you and got immigrant wages.  Her friend came over at the same time to clean people's houses.  To be 20 and a whinger requires dedication.

The rustic, laid-back charm so long associated with Ireland was in danger of being superseded by a "greed is good" mentality.

Get to Ireland while the Irish are still there!

Ireland seems to be going down the American route of consumerism. It has changed so much."

When I finally saw a TGIF restaurant open at the Blanchardstown Mall, I knew America had finally returned the favor of Irish culture coming to America!

 

14 posted on 01/21/2007 6:44:28 PM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: Mr J

Alas, Islam is the fastest growing religion in Ireland. There's a mosque in every county.


15 posted on 01/21/2007 6:46:40 PM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: JerseyJohn61

bttt


16 posted on 01/21/2007 6:46:51 PM PST by JerseyJohn61 (Better Late Than Never.......sometimes over lapping is worth the effort....)
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To: jla; staytrue
Oh? Then which countries provided this great flood of immigrants to the verdant isle which permitted their economy to expand?

A quick search got me this article:

http://www.workpermit.com/news/2005_11_11/uk/new_immigrants_to_ireland_buying_homes.htm

The number of non-nationals living in the State is estimated to be 350,000, accounting for 8-9 percent of the population of 4.13 million currently living here, according to CSO estimates.

The property market is now reaping the rewards of this wave of immigration which has delivered a new and eager market of hard-working househunters.

Polish, Czech, Filipino, Indian, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Lithuanian people working in Ireland are no longer content to pay rent and are making moves to acquire their own front door.

I should also add that many of the illegal Irish in the USA returned to Ireland in the past 10 years to inflate the population as well.

There was recently a thread about all the Polish immigrants asking for priests from Poland to come to Ireland.  Now isn't that a kicker?  Not enough priests in Ireland to meet the demand.

 

17 posted on 01/21/2007 6:54:23 PM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: Incorrigible
As I stated, the econ expansion brought the immigrants, (including many Irish, legal and illegal, back home) not the other way around.

...maybe the Poles just prefer Polish priests.

18 posted on 01/21/2007 6:58:22 PM PST by jla
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To: blam

Ireland does not allow abortion thanks to the Catholic Church,


19 posted on 01/21/2007 7:09:34 PM PST by GinaLolaB
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To: Clemenza; Cacique

While success has had unintended consequences, success is the best revenge for the Old Sod.


20 posted on 01/21/2007 7:23:15 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: blam

My guess is that Ireland's economic success will do more to reunite the country than all the IRA's bombs ever did. It's a lot more palatable to join an economic dynamo than a third world country.


21 posted on 01/21/2007 8:10:51 PM PST by elmer fudd
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To: SAMS

"The Irish would be wise to keep immigration at a minimum"

"Too late. Been to Dublin lately?"


Ain't that the truth! The last time I was in Dublin I couldn't tell if if I was in East Asia or Eastern Europe.


22 posted on 01/21/2007 11:48:44 PM PST by roscommon
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To: BW2221
Ireland, which had been dominated and poor for centuries, while Great Britain is falling apart.

21st century... how many more times before it sinks in???

23 posted on 01/22/2007 12:28:40 PM PST by Irish_Thatcherite (A vote for Bertie Ahern is a vote for Gerry Adams!|What if I lecture Americans about America?)
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To: blam; jla; Incorrigible; Colosis; Black Line; Cucullain; SomeguyfromIreland; Youngblood; Fergal; ...
Good news!

Ireland Ping!

24 posted on 01/22/2007 12:32:15 PM PST by Irish_Thatcherite (A vote for Bertie Ahern is a vote for Gerry Adams!|What if I lecture Americans about America?)
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To: Irish_Thatcherite
Good news!

'tis.

25 posted on 01/22/2007 2:26:57 PM PST by aculeus
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To: aculeus

surely.


26 posted on 01/22/2007 2:38:54 PM PST by Irish_Thatcherite (A vote for Bertie Ahern is a vote for Gerry Adams!|What if I lecture Americans about America?)
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