Hard-Up Irish Seek Solace in Sporting Success; after Years of Being Described as the Celtic Tiger for Its Miraculous Economic Growth, Ireland's More Recent History Has Been Blighted by Deep Recession and International Bailouts. but, Writes Simon Gaskell, Sport Has Offered the Nation Some Respite from an Economy in Turmoil

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Hard-Up Irish Seek Solace in Sporting Success; after Years of Being Described as the Celtic Tiger for Its Miraculous Economic Growth, Ireland's More Recent History Has Been Blighted by Deep Recession and International Bailouts. but, Writes Simon Gaskell, Sport Has Offered the Nation Some Respite from an Economy in Turmoil


WHEN Jamie Heaslip, Declan Kidney and co are welcomed to the Millennium Stadium for the Six Nations opener tomorrow, for 80 minutes a nation will park its worries and forget itself in its national obsession. The description may just as well apply to Wales.

But it is Ireland which has taken most solace from its rugby heroes, and other sporting stars, since 2008.

Five years ago the country began to bear the brunt of a modern, global financial crash frequently described as the worst economic crisis since the 1930s depression.

What had been 24 years of continuous growth in the country was followed by a deep slump which began five years ago and which was brought about by the burst of property bubble.

At one point, Ireland's four-and-a-half million people had the highest level of household debt relative to disposable income in the developed world.

By 2010, the IMF and EU nations agreed on a three-year PS77.3bn rescue package mainly earmarked to rescue its debt-ridden banks.

And in December, Ireland endured its sixth hairshirt budget accompanied by PS2bn more cuts - the continuation of painful austerity measures by the Fine Gael-Labour coalition.

In all of it, while the country has struggled in the face of job cuts and slashed child benefit and other household incomes, there has been one bright spot.

John Scally, a professor at Trinity College, Dublin, told the Western Mail: "Sport is one of the few good news stories left in Ireland. Last year, when Katie Taylor won the gold medal at the Olympics it was absolutely the highlight of the year for most people.

"And in 2009, when we were just coming to terms with the scale of the economic crisis that we were in, the Grand Slam was absolutely huge for the country, particularly the manner in which they played."

That style of play was said to be similar to the old Welsh tradition of "attack, attack, attack".

But, off the pitch, people felt that they were coming under attack as less than 100,000 out-of-work turned into more than 400,000 and salary and take-home pay slumped by 20% with uncertainty as Ireland no longer held control of its own economic sovereignty.

But rising out of the gloom, built sturdily as a fragile economy around it collapsed was the Aviva Stadium - the new home of Irish rugby.

It is there over the course of the next few weeks that England and France will visit to more than likely sold-out crowds and that Leinster play many of their higher-profile Heineken Cup matches.

And the 51,700-seater venture - a joint enterprise between the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) - looks likely to be a profitable one.

A report from the Smurfit Business School showed that the impact of an RBS Six Nations weekend can be worth as much as 90m euros for the Irish economy.

The impact can be felt on the employment front as well with international weekends contributing to an estimated 800 full-time jobs and a further 1,700 part-time jobs on a match weekend. IRFU commercial and marketing director Padraig Power said: "Add to that the spend by Irish rugby supporters and the activity of sponsors of the IRFU.

"You only have to look at the papers or billboards or online to see how our sponsors spend heavily on advertising around our games to see that Irish rugby has a vital role to play in the economic health of the nation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Hard-Up Irish Seek Solace in Sporting Success; after Years of Being Described as the Celtic Tiger for Its Miraculous Economic Growth, Ireland's More Recent History Has Been Blighted by Deep Recession and International Bailouts. but, Writes Simon Gaskell, Sport Has Offered the Nation Some Respite from an Economy in Turmoil
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.