From prosperity to austerity

A socio-cultural critique of the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath

Edited by Eamon Maher and Eugene O'Brien

From prosperity to austerity


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9168-1
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: July 2014
  • BIC Category: Political science & theory, Political economy, BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic Conditions, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Economy, Economic Growth, Society & social sciences / Political science & theory, Irish Studies


This collection examines the Irish economic phenomenon of the Celtic Tiger and the financial disaster that came in its wake, from a socio-cultural perspective. It focuses on how these financial developments have been reflected in writing, film and culture in order to offer a more rounded analysis of the effects of this momentous period on people's lives.

Employing a wide range of cultural lenses, the book critiques the cultural, political and aesthetic implications of the progression from prosperity to austerity and the impact this has had on the psyche of Irish culture. An eclectic mix of theoretical approaches enables treatment of religion, literature, popular culture, photography, gastronomy, music, gender, immigration and film, as contributors assess how the Celtic Tiger was represented, or misrepresented, in these particular spheres of experience.

In addition, the chapters also probe the effects on all of the aforementioned cultural forms, and interrogate how the lives of people have been transformed in ways that go beyond the already well-documented areas of economics and finance.

The book will be a valuable resource for academics and students interested in contemporary Ireland and recent Irish history, as well as the general reader anxious to understand the effects of this particular period on the real lives of people as expressed through culture. It features contributions by internationally acknowledged experts in their fields and offers a comprehensive overview of the cultural consequences of the Celtic Tiger and its aftermath.


The Irish economic crisis was as much sociopolitical as it was economic. So it is surprising that we have had so little analysis from outside economics. This book on the role of culture, particularly the way it has reflected the fall, is therefore extremely welcome... This book is invaluable... the first serious attempt to cast a sociocultural net over what has happened'

The book is full of wonderful insights. . . This book is invaluable, if only for the fact that it is the first serious attempt to cast a sociocultural net across what has happened. It is not always easy or comfortable reading, but it is rewarding. As we move towards the upswing, with the inevitable consequence that that also shall end, we need to reflect on what happened and on how we responded to it. This book helps us to do that.


Introduction - Eamon Maher and Eugene O'Brien
1. Crisis, what crisis? The Catholic Church during the Celtic Tiger - Eamon Maher
2. The Celtic Tiger and the new Irish religious market - Catherine Maignant
3. Shattered assumptions: a tale of two traumas - Brendan O'Brien
4.'Tendency-Wit': the cultural unconscious of the Celtic Tiger in the writings of Paul Howard - Eugene O'Brien
5. Popular music and the Celtic Tiger - Gerry Smyth
6. 'What does a woman want?': Irish contemporary women's fiction and the expression of desire in an era of plenty - Sylvie Mikowski
7. Topographies of terror: photography and the post-Celtic Tiger landscape - Justin Carville
8. Immigration and Celtic Tiger - Bryan Fanning
9. 'What Rough Beast'? Monsters of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland - Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling
10. Women, fictional messages and a crucial decade - Mary Pierse
11. 'A hundred thousand welcomes': food and wine as cultural signifiers - Brian Murphy
12. Contemporary Irish fiction and the Indirect Gaze - Neil Murphy
13 'Holes in the Ground': theatre as critic and conscience of Celtic Tiger Ireland - Vic Merriman
14. 'Ship of Fools': The Celtic Tiger and poetry as social critique - Eóin Flannery
15. Between modernity and marginality: Celtic Tiger cinema - Ruth Barton


Eamon Maher is Director of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies at the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, where he also lectures in Humanities

Eugene O'Brien is Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of English Language and Literature at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick

From prosperity to austerity

Edited by Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien

Paperback £17.99 / $26.95

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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