Travel in Ireland

Travel to the land of the Celtic Tiger

(continuer en français) – Last updated: December 14, 2019

The most striking image I have that remains of Ireland are these round towers rising from monasteries as if carried by a surge of faith towards heaven. Some might want to reduce Ireland to a pint of beer, I would highlight this architectural feat.

I lived in Ireland for a little over nine years, I traveled thousands of kilometres, taking thousands of photos, spending many hours going through the history of the place and yet I only know a tiny part of this island. There is such a temporal and geographical density of history that practically every field has a vestige, most often in ruins, of a past composed of several strata. Each place has been through several lives.

Until the period of economic success in the 1990s, the period of the Celtic Tiger, Ireland evolved only very slowly, accumulating what generations left behind, without the need to demolish everything to rebuild something new. At the time of the great economic leap forward, awareness of the value of old things was sufficiently established to protect them from destruction, while so many other countries sacrificed their past to afford a future.

If the means were sometimes lacking for the restoration and enhancement of the monuments, they remained as they were. There is then a great authenticity of what the visitor can find, connecting directly with the past centuries, like a fabulous journey to the past. Not to mention, the desolate landscapes of the interior or the rugged coastlines bring an extra beauty.

For a long time Ireland was known as a country of emigration, contributing significantly to the population of the New World, in America or Australia. Suddenly, with annual GDP growth rates of 6%, the emigrant country was invaded by immigrants. Mainly coming from Europe, the United Kingdom and Central Europe very often, partly from China and India too. Many of these youths, creating a joyful postgraduate atmosphere in international companies using their language skills.

While many of these young immigrants left after a few years, in part due to the difficulties following the 2008 crisis, some have remained, engaged in mixed couples with Irish or other nationals for whom English became the common language. This human contribution from outside accelerated the evolution of society, whose attitudes are now essentially in line with those of other European countries.

Something has not changed much, the terrible Irish accent. It varies from province to province to the point that they do not understand each other. While this accent is smoothing among young people exposed to international English, it remains very pronounced in some categories of the population, the worst being the Irish suburbs, with Ballymun serving as a reference.

To be informed of upcoming articles, register here (it’s free).