Ireland in Danger!

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      Is Ireland getting a little too cocky?!

      1980s Ireland wasn’t among Ireland’s best economically performing decades, to say the least(!), why? Yes I understand the issues of taxation, education, blah, blah, blah! There is many an economic argument to be made, and each perfectly valid – but among the reasons, I have no doubt, was the attitude of the Irish people. Yes, it was cocky. Exemplified by situations such as that at Ford, Dunlop, Waterford Crystal and numerous others across the country. It came to a point, were the country was willing to write a ‘blank cheque’ to anyone who could offer it revival. Progress came in the early 90s because people were willing to explore and accept new avenues in order to see economic progress for once, grace the country.

      But has the ‘Celtic Tiger’ era – and now this new era, the so-called ‘Celtic Fox’ – resurfaced this unattractive nature of Irish society? Are we in danger of falling into the same traps as the past?

      The fact is, business keeps the economy moving – it keeps money in pockets, food on the table and exports going the right direction etc etc. Situations such as that at An Post, Aer Lingus and a number of other present-day notable businesses – are they indicative of re-emerging attitudes? Now that we’re doing well, can we be so picky in what it is we wish to or wish not to do? It is a scenario often recognised by Recruitment Agencies who now, more than ever, find it difficult to fill positions in so-called ‘low-grade’ employment (whatever that means!) with Irish citizens. It just doesn’t happen. Instead, we often hear a Polish, Afrikaans or Asian accent filling such positions. If the economy is to continue growing, we need more foreign workers residing in Ireland and helping push the economy forward.

      Often the argument for Irish attitudes toward development and business is – ‘we can’t let big business dictate our lives’ or ‘if we don’t monitor business, who will? We must keep them in check’ or ‘Remember 1913???’ (to the last one, not personally). Yes, these statements are valid, but not in the context of the actions followed thereafter. Like it or lump it, we need business to recognise Ireland as a positive environment to set-up in (indigenous or MNC) and to continue expanding within. We need to voice our opinion on the things which need to be said, but we can’t threaten industrial action everytime we don’t get our way either. We’re among the highest paid nations in Europe (considering min. wage) – the reason so many immigrants flood into the country is to take advantage of such a wage! The Irish (pardon the generalisation – but it stands for a high %) tend to object to almost everything (perfect example = property development – yes some designs and projects are just unsuited and plain awful, throw them out or better still, work on improving them constructively! But we even seem to object to something that will do us good. We all want something, just not near us.) We can’t let our ‘arrogance’ drive investment and development opportunities away – the Irish people DO deserve it, but believe you me, there are plenty of other countries out there just begging for a bite of our apple – and if we’re not careful, they just might take a bite too big. We shouldn’t forget the mistakes of the past, and continue to be careful about making all new ones.

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