Ireland’s Boom and Bust

Reference work entry

Few countries have been as dramatically transformed in recent years as Ireland. Ireland emerged as the fastest-growing country in Europe, however just a few years after celebrating their newly-won status among the world’s richest societies, now saddled with a wounded, shrinking economy, soaring unemployment, and ruined public finances. In his book When the Luck of the Irish Ran Out David J. Lynch offers an insightful, character-driven narrative of how the Irish boom came to be and how it went bust.

For much of the twentieth century Ireland was the odd man out in Europe. While other countries rebuilt and modernised, Ireland stagnated. In the 1980s one-third of the population lived below the poverty line. Incredibly, fewer people held jobs in 1987 than had been working in 1926. Ireland was long on charm and short on almost everything that mattered to a modern economy: jobs, roads, telephone lines.

Making a phone call in Ireland required time, patience and a bit of luck. One-quarter of...


  1. Lynch, David J., When the Luck of the Irish Ran Out. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.Google Scholar

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