- 04 Jul 17
Hot Press has lived through some truly extraordinary moments over the past four decades. Over the course of four parts, Olaf Tyaransen rounds up the 40 most seismic events since Hot Press was born.
THE CELTIC TIGER YEARS
With its cripplingly high levels of poverty, unemployment and inflation, and extremely low economic growth, Ireland was very much the poor man of Europe at the start of the 1990s. However, from about 1995 up to 2007, largely through the availability of cheap credit, the country experienced an unprecedented period of economic growth now commonly referred to as “The Boom”. Suddenly we were being proudly informed by the Fianna Fail government that we were one of the richest countries in the world. Things quickly accelerated from grim to greed. Not everybody benefitted, of course, but second homes, foreign holidays, designer clothes and brand new cars became the norm for many as the country embraced rampant materialism like a new religion. People ignored the warnings of economist David McWilliams (who was basically decried as a heretic) and listened instead to taoiseach Bertie Ahern who brazenly claimed “the boom is getting boomier” even as the cracks began to show. It all went to hell in a handcart around 2007, and suddenly the party was well and truly over. Sadly, the bill for this extended period of excess still had to be paid. And we’re still paying it today.