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The Idle Tower,
Cork City

Apogee of the Celtic Tiger economy

The "Celtic Tiger" economy had reached its peak by the summer of 2008.

The United-States' housing credit crisis with its global influence happened when the Irish economy had already begun to slow.

The Celtic Tiger (a term derived from earlier analogous east-Asian phenomena) was a thunderous growth year-over-year that brought Ireland from poverty to riches within two decades.

But the growth went awry. The booming economy was feeding on itself.

Establishments like champagne bars began to show up in small towns. Clearly the end was near.

In '08, people began to understand that property valuations were going down, so they went down some more. Construction was decreasing, and people were losing jobs. Some construction workers began returning to their own lands, and would not be renting or buying in Ireland.

There was no bottom.

In 2012, the National Asset Management Agency started demolition of one of 1,800-plus apartment blocks littering the country unoccupied and falling apart.