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A decade of profit after years of fiscal and human losses . . .

Brendan Keenan sees the economic success of the 1990s in the context of a history of failureTHE THOUGHTS of an Irish citizen in 1900, reflecting on the turn of the century, might have been surprisingly similar to those of his counterpart today, at the end of another century, and a millennium.

The 19th century had not been good for Ireland. It had seen its economic position decline inexorably compared with other small European states. All remedies seemed to have ended in failure.

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