In the mid-1990s, Ireland went from one of the poorer countries in Europe to the continent's shining example of how to attract new business.
Ireland, dubbed "The Celtic Tiger," and its capital, Dublin, boomed during a period of massive growth. Property values skyrocketed in the city, and gross domestic product was outgrowing that of the United States and the European Union, thanks to government initiatives like generous tax breaks [source: Dorgan]. Skilled laborers from across Europe moved to Dublin for work.
In 2007, the average Irish income was about $43,000, about three times the amount it was in 1984 [source: Lynch].
But the Celtic Tiger couldn't outrun a worldwide recession. Dublin's boom, tied to property values inflated nearly 500 percent over a decade, collapsed with the fall of Ireland's banks. What was once a model city sank back into troubled times, with experts still debating what will be the final outcome for the once-mighty Celtic Tiger.
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