Can you remember the Celtic tiger? This now extinct animal once roamed the financial world unchallenged by any predator. So what happened, what did it eat and why did it die? Well first a quick look backwards. The romantics would have you believe that Ireland has always lived under the yoke of the British. And if you are looking for a nation of romantics then look no further than the Irish. Also, if hyperbole could be exported then the whole Irish population would be fabulously wealthy. Put the two together and you get the foundation of the ongoing theme 'Brits bad, Irish good'. Using this as a platform, umpteen novels and plays have been written and, ironically, some have made the authors rich.
We could call this the proximity theory - as for example Russian and Finland, yes the latter has a right to complain but in the case of the UK and Ireland it is, I think you will agree, a bit different. Here it's a mixed bag, advantages and disadvantages. Has there been a tradition of Finns going to work in Russia? I think not. Likewise did the rouble ever support the markka? Whoops! Showing off again! The markka predates the euro in Finland. The fact is, life was hard in post WW2 Ireland but then so it was in most of Europe and for roughly the same reasons.
There is a very old pub song with the line, “four and twenty virgins set out for Inverness”; the last time I saw this song 'performed' that was as far as it got as everyone fell about laughing. Well look out Inverness I say, as this year you have the SNP conference to contend with too. But then every time the SNP meets up for a conference people fall about laughing. There was the time when Alex Salmond (see right and footnote) suggested that Scotland could join in with Iceland and the Nordic countries in an “arc of prosperity”, soon after Iceland went belly up.