Money And The Irish
June 3, 2014, Dublin, Ireland: The economic and real estate collapses in 2008 have helped make Ireland a much more affordable, pleasant, welcoming place to live.
"Money doesn't suit Irish people..."
--Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
The American dream of Ireland is all about thatched-roofed cottages, low stone walls, green pastures with white sheep, and pubs with peat fires.
That was the Ireland that received us when we arrived on the scene as transplanted Americans years ago, pre-Celtic Tiger. We invested in an old stone country house to restore, bought a pony for our daughter to learn to ride, cultivated gardens, drank tea, and huddled around the Stanley stove in the kitchen for warmth on rainy evenings.
Then came the boom. From our front-row seats, we watched as it chipped away at the Ireland of our American fantasies. From 1997 to 2007, this little green isle was awash with cash. The Irish had more money than ever in their history and more money than they knew what to do with. They built housing estates and fast-food franchises, bought posh townhouses and fancy cars...
"I bought a two-bedroom house in Dublin for 8 million quid one day," funny Irishman Tommy Tiernan explains. "Why? Because it was going to cost me 20 million quid the next day."
As the cash flowed, the scene changed. The average Irishman no longer wanted to tend bar in a pub or run his family home as a B&B. The average Irishman had more ambitious plans and schemes. This was ok, as immigrants from Eastern Europe and Africa were arriving on the scene to replace the working Irish. By the time we left Waterford, not a pub or a restaurant in town was staffed by Irish. Poles and Romanians took your order at the Burger King and served your carvery at Reginald's Tower.