Thursday 14 December 2017

Nicky Larkin: Celtic Tiger magnolia is faded, mouldy and peeling

What do we have now to offer to the rest of the world? The temporary gift of our highly skilled youth, writes Nicky Larkin

Nicky Larkin

If we had a flag to represent our period of prosperity, its colour would be magnolia. But now that magnolia's gone mouldy, and the petrol stations are boarded up. So how will history remember the time we were the darlings of Europe?

Not very kindly, it would seem. It gets darker by the day. We've all heard the stories, from the spine-chilling to the simply sickening. We've had gangster bankers, disgraced politicians, and murderous mobsters. And last week we had a former senator locked up. Fianna Fail's Francie O'Brien was given a three-year prison term – with the final year suspended – for his part in a €100,000 extortion plot.

Alongside his political career, O'Brien built up an impressive property portfolio, with 10 development sites and six rental properties to his name. He also owns a 300-acre farm...

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