Irish History and Economy

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The “New Ireland” emerged in the 1990s’ when the country experienced an economic-cultural boom in which it was transformed from one of Europe's poorer countries into one of its wealthiest.

In the 1990s the socioeconomic prosperity that spread across the country found its origins in the evolution from a subsistence economy to a market economy. It was at the end of the 1950s when the Irish economy moved its first steps in condition of normal political stability and, new polices and plans were introduced and implemented to transform an Ireland that based her economy on rural and agriculture industries, to a country able to create high standard of living, consumer goods, and economic opportunities as well as the rest of Europe.

The real turning point for an economic policy focused on productivity came from Sean Lemass, the economic architect of modern Ireland, who during his mandates as minister for Industry & Commerce tried to move away from the protectionist policies that had been in place since the 1930s towards international trade and commerce. He focused his programme on foreign investment, tax breaks and grants that were provided to foreign firms wishing to set up a company in Ireland, this would have contributed to create economic prosperity in the country and reduce the big problem of unemployment. Following the introduction of this programme, employment fell by a third; at the end of the 1960s, 350 foreign companies had settled in Ireland starting what we can call the industrial colonization and, by employing the 25% of the industrial labour work in the country, emigration reduced considerably and the population grew f...

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