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I agree that this was a valuable post, and I also agree with most of the comments. Being of (very) Irish descent I am very happy to see this success story after centuries in which Ireland's chief export was it's poor and their cheap labor. I am also wondering if the role of the Church has declined over the last few decades, and if so whether or not this is also a factor in the recent economic dynamism. (Of course, such a decline would be an expected side effect of increased education, even if attachment to Catholicism remained a national trait.) Another factor that has been little mentioned is Ireland's traditional neutrality which ought, I suppose, to minimize the amount of money wasted on the military extravagances. One has the feeling that Ireland shows what can be reasonably expected if a country adopts reasonably good policies and exploits external aid without vicious levels of corruption. But on this latter point I'm sure the "real Irish" are far better able to comment.

Hannah K. O'Luthon
by Hannah K OLuthon on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 09:01:41 AM EST
There's about a dozen front-page stories in that lot!

The role of the Church has been massively reduced. Neutrality does help, though I note that the US cost us about 10M last year in landing fees at Shannon, and the vicious levels of corruption have been greatly reduced.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jul 5th, 2005 at 09:49:57 AM EST
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