independent

Monday 21 April 2014

The man who coined the phrase

Most people are by now thoroughly sick of the phrase 'Celtic Tiger', a moniker that will be forever associated with Ireland's 'boom'.

Of course we know it was all a mirage, albeit one that dazzled Irish and international writers and commentators for more than a decade.

The term 'Celtic Tiger' was reportedly first used in a 1994 Morgan Stanley report by Kevin Gardiner (pictured), a Dublin-based economist.

It referred to Ireland's similarity to the East Asian Tigers: Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea, during their periods of rapid growth in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Our stunning growth took us from Europe's basket case to poster boy.

Historian Richard Aldous stated the Celtic Tiger has now gone the "way of the dodo". Unfortunately, the phrase hasn't. The 'Celtic Tiger' is something of a pejorative term, associated with a period of greed, which saw astonishing levels of borrowing and ostentatious spending.

Irish Independent

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