Ireland: Changing Times


During the period from the mid 1990s to 2013, Ireland witnessed significant economic, social, cultural and political optimism, ultimately overtaken by a calamitous financial crisis that by the end of 2010 left the Irish republic bereft of meaningful sovereignty and reliant on bailout funds to finance the state. It was an era of economic expansion, social and demographic change, cultural vibrancy, relative peace and stability, but also greed, revelations of historic misdeeds and abuses, governance inadequacies and failures in financial regulation.

The transformations witnessed during the Celtic Tiger period of the mid 1990s to the mid 2000s, in a state long accustomed to economic malaise, were profound and can be traced through politics, economic, educational and demographic shifts, the decline of religion, women’s liberation, the increased stability of Northern Ireland, the impact of Irish literature and culture, and changing perceptions of Irish identity. In terms of the historical view, the convulsions since 2008 have added more complexity and layers to sift through to get to the essence of the Irish experience during this period. This article provides an overview of these themes with a view to assessing where Ireland stood at the end of 2013, how it got there and its prospects for the future.


Author of 'Ireland: Changing Times'

The author of the section 'Ireland: Changing Times' is Professor Diarmaid Ferriter. He is Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD and one of the most well-known historians in Ireland. He has published several books relating to a number of key periods from modern Irish history as well as life and society in modern Ireland. He is also a TV and radio broadcaster and a weekly columnist with a national newspaper.


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