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The celtic tiger is a nickname for the current state of the Irish Economy. The economy has seen rapid, rapid growth over the past five years, especially in high tech and pharmacy related industries. Per capita, Ireland is now officially the biggest exporter of softwarein the world, due to the fact that companies like Dell, Compaq, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, Xerox and Lucent have set up huge development and production facilities here.

There are currently 18,000 vacancies in IT in Ireland that cannot be filled because of the lack of skilled people here, although over the next two years there will be huge amount of IT related graduates from the colleges, and new courses are being started all the time. Because of this, many people from abroad come to Ireland to work, and are welcomed by the government, as long as they are skilled and help to keep the wheels of this boom economy turning.

It's actually got to the point where I could leave my job at 9am tomorrow morning, and have a new, better paid job at 11am. This is the situation for many people. The nerds hold all the keys!

This boom has been fantastic for the people of Ireland. The country itself is a much nicer place to live in. The infrastructure is improving, the towns and cities are cleaner, people have become more chilled out, safe in the knowledge that we are no longer a third world country, looked down upon as being thick muck savages with a penchant for alcohol. The young people of Ireland have forever changed peoples perceptions of the Irish, and shown the world what we really are, friendly and welcoming, yet skilled, ambitious, confident and determined. There is a buzz about Dublin if you work in IT. There is a common feeling among people, a sort of "yeah, we're doing allright here, we're doing some cool stuff".

how long will it all last, who knows? People will always need computers and software. Ireland will always be producing them.

It's amazing how much the whole Celtic Tiger atmosphere, which once pervaded Ireland completely, has been toned down in the past 6 months (from January to July 2001). News broadcasts, in which the phrase "Celtic Tiger" was used at least twice a day, now have a new buzzphrase: "... due to the global downturn in the IT industry".

Of course Ireland grew too fast, companies had to employ many underqualified IT people, and the Irish generally expected too much from the sector. This is no longer the case, and although many companies are still crying out for workers, there has also recently been a spate of redundancies and/or factory closures, eg. Intel, Hewlett-Packard, etc.

Therefore, although Ireland has escaped the worst of this 'downturn' and lack of demand, the job market is slowly returning to a state of equilibrium. The sombre tone of media broadcasts reporting layoffs has ensured that the "Celtic Tiger" is no longer spoken of in the loud, excited voice evident in ReiToei's description above.

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