Republic of Ireland 1998-2020


  • $75.00  -  Member
  • $80.00  -  Non-Member


Four Wednesdays, beginning April 29
from 6-7pm


After seventy years of disappointing economic performance the Republic became one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The Celtic Tiger started in the mid-1990s and boomed until 2001. It slowed down, only to pick up again in 2003. It slowed again in 2007 with recessions in 2009 and 2013 followed by comparative prosperity. The scandal of bank "bail-outs' saw Irelands debt rating go from AAA status to junk status. Government brought in austerity budgets to repay it.

The Celtic Tiger was the result of a rare unity among political parties to impose austerity budgets, a sizeable increase in foreign direct investment, growth in tourism brought on by Ireland's world cup success, five wins in Eurovision, and Riverdance. The building boom, rampant property speculation, and over-borrowing provided the fuel for the economy to almost collapse in the crisis of 2008. The political impact of the crisis brought a shattering defeat for Fianna Fáil in the 2011 general election. The success of Sinn Fein in the 2020 elections is tied directly to the economic crisis and the austerity programmes that followed. In 2002 the Euro replaced the punt. In 2008 the Taoiseach resigned as corruption scandals hit the headlines. In 2009 a damning report criticized the Irish Catholic Church hierarchy for its handling of allegations of child abuse against 46 priests. In 2011 Queen Elizabeth paid an official visit to Ireland symbolizing the new relationship since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. In 2011 the Vatican recalled its ambassador to Ireland amid tension over the issue of child abuse by priests. In 2013 the Taoiseach formally apologized for the Irish state's role in the Magdalene laundries - where "troubled women" were forcibly detained and made to work without pay between 1922 to 1996. In 2015 a Referendum approved same-sex marriage by a large margin. In 2016 the Brexit decision in the UK created uncertainty over the future of Ireland. In 2018 Mary Lou McDonald took over as leader of Sinn Fein. The 2020 election was a full hearted rejection by the electorate of policies that had failed to address the housing, health and education crisis facing many people in Ireland. They voted for change.

This class meets in the Maker's Space & Mentor Studio on the lower level of the Education Wing.


No materials required other than a notebook and pen.

Sean Murphy is from Ireland and has studied the Economic, Social and Political History of Ireland and has a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in Sociology and Politics. He teaches Irish set and ceile dancing and traditional Irish music at venues on Cape Cod and Nantucket. He is also involved in promoting Irish music sessions and cultural events. In 2014 he was awarded the Thomas P McCann "Altruism Award" trophy by the Cape Cod St. Patrick's Day Committee for his "support and commitment to the Culture and Heritage of Ireland and its people." 

NeonCRM by Neon One