Wednesday 24 January 2018

Extraordinary decade in Irish history but it wasn't all doom and gloom

Ciaran Byrne

Just when you think it happened yesterday, along comes a nostalgia magazine. When we sat down at the 'Irish Independent' to recall our memories of the Noughties, everyone had forgotten at least one significant event or happening. Was it really 12 years ago that we said goodbye to the punt? Is it already the 10th anniversary of the Spire in Dublin? Answers: yes and yes.

Welcome again to 'Rolling Back The Years', and another fascinating chapter in our journey through the pages of modern Irish life.

Three years ago we brought you an acclaimed 10-part collection of magazines chronicling Irish life from 1950 to 1999 and the news events that happened during that period.

Packed with magnificent visual and written content from our unrivalled archives, readers also engaged enthusiastically with the series, sending us in their own pictures and memories.

Now we feel it's a good time to update the story, with a look back at a decade which defined modern Irish life.

The boom and the bust touched every aspect of our lives and in this issue of 'Rolling Back The Years', our writers chart the ongoing rise of the Celtic Tiger in the early 2000s.

The country made huge strides with new motorways and other infrastructure, which will at least assist in our recovery.

Kim Bielenberg's list of 20 Celtic Tiger 'baubles' really is fascinating; it was a time when children were taken by private helicopter to holy communion ceremonies and people queued up in Dublin's Brown Thomas department store to pay for a breath of oxygen!

In part two, we look at 20 symbols of the collapse. Brendan Keenan takes us through the dark days of our economic woes and the subsequent loss of our economic sovereignty with an €85bn bailout.

They say journalism is the first rough draft of history and in both supplements we bring you Independent Eyewitness -- accounts of events by the 'Irish Independent' reporters who were there.

There are also contributions from others; RTE northern editor Tommie Gorman recalls his 2002 interview with Roy Keane after the footballer was sent home from a World Cup training camp in Saipan. Another Noughties story of boom and bust!

We hope you enjoy this issue and look forward to Part II, free inside next Saturday's paper.

Irish Independent

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