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The Celtic Tiger

Meanwhile, in the south, the Republic was a major beneficiary of EEC membership and its economy began to accelerate.  First Ireland had success with butter then with IT.



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The Butter Museum in Cork records the Irish butter success story.
Until the 1950's Irish butter making was both primitive and unhygienic. 
Farmers wives were still hand milking and using a domestic separator and a hand churn to make butter.
Then came the European Economic Community.
Modern milking sheds; bulk handling; and processing factories were built; improved herds and pastures brought Irish butter into the 20th century.
Thus butter became a first step in the late 20th century Irish economic miracle.


Soon educated Irishmen and women returned from overseas and foreign immigrants reversed the old pattern of brighter children emigrating as soon as they were able.  Ireland's population began to grow and among these new Irish the old religious enmities were put aside in the interests of a better society.  For a period, at the turn of the century, the economy grew so spectacularly that the Republic would be called the 'Celtic Tiger'.

So today it's a different story. Ireland is no longer represented by a three centimetre thick computer printout of inappropriate jokes about stupidity.  As we'd hoped in the early 1970's, both Britain and the Republic of Ireland are, or were, members of the EU and the border is indeed transparent.  The military control points have long gone.  Traffic flows are unhindered by what has become a line on the map and people from either side of the border mix freely, as they do across state or provincial borders in Australia, Canada or the US.

The only noticeable difference when one crosses this border is that the road signs revert to imperial distances and miles per hour and Euros give way to Pounds. 




# Michael 2020-08-28 06:06
This article is brilliant. I've learnt a lot from reading about these travels
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In October 2011 our little group: Sonia, Craig, Wendy and Richard visited Brazil. We entered Brazil from Argentina near the Iguassu Falls.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

A Secret Agent

 If you have an e-book reader, a version of this story is available for download, below.


Chapter 1


 - news flash -

Body in River



The body of a man was found floating in the Iguazú river this morning by a tourist boat. Mary (name withheld) said it was terrible. "We were just approaching the falls when the body appeared bobbing in the foam directly in front of us. We almost ran over it. The driver swerved and circled back and the crew pulled him in. The poor man must have fallen - or perhaps he jumped?"

The body was discovered near the Brazilian side but was taken back to Argentina. Police are investigating and have not yet released details of the man's identity...


Iguazú Herald


Everywhere we look there's falling water. Down the track to the right is a lookout. Over the other side of the gorge is Brazil, where the cliff faces are covered by maybe a kilometre of falling curtains of white, windswept water. Here and there the curtains hang in gaps or are pushed aside by clumps of trees and bushes, like stagehands peeking out into a theatre before the performance.  

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Opinions and Philosophy

The reputation of nuclear power



One night of at the end of March in 1979 we went to a party in Queens.  Brenda, my first wife, is an artist and was painting and studying in New York.  Our friends included many of the younger artists working in New York at the time.  That day it had just been announced that there was a possible meltdown at a nuclear reactor at a place called a Three Mile Island , near Harrisburg Pennsylvania. 

I was amazed that some people at the party were excitedly imagining that the scenario in the just released film ‘The China Syndrome’  was about to be realised; and thousands of people would be killed. 

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