Are The Irish Better Off Poor?

As Ireland waves farewell to its boom years as the ‘Celtic Tiger’, the Dublin-based artist, Guggi, wonders if a return to hard times isn’t actually blessing for the city.
  • Transcript


Question: How has Dublin’s rapid economic growth altered the city?

Guggi: I think it probably made people greedy. There is no doubt about the fact that a lot of positive things came out of it. You know, you see beautiful buildings. You find yourself living in a city that's very pleasant. You don't see people suffering from poverty or you do, perhaps, but a lot less. But you know now that the bubble has burst and the economy has collapsed, I do think it's a real blessing in disguise. I don't think there's any doubt about that. So much of, you know -- the great music even in recent times has not come from wealthy, spoiled children that eat too much, that are given too much, that take stuff for granted. It did come from hard times and it did come from a certain level of poverty. So I think it's a blessing in disguise, but I going to say, having said that, I did enjoy the good times.

Question: What major changes do you notice in the city now?

Guggi: Yeah. You notice a big difference now; a lot of restaurants closing, a lot of shops closing, and you know people are maybe a little bit panicked, and the media, I think, in Ireland, hammered consumer confidence and I think that played a very big part in the bubble bursting, coming down so fast. I think that could have been avoided. I think people are now starting to get a little bit bored with the recession and talk of the recession. So I think that's a good thing, but yeah, you notice differences. We've kind of stopped celebrating. But we were over-celebrating, so you know. Now it's evening out a little bit. I don't think that's a bad thing.

Recorded on October 7, 2009