Jack Quann
Jack Quann

17.53 25 Nov 2020


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Irish people were 'drinking gold' and never thought the good times would end during the Celtic Tiger years.

That is according to presenter and podcaster Blindboy Boatclub, who admitted he never experienced a recession until the economic crash of 2008.

Newstalk's 20 most influential moments of the last 20 years is looking back on the Celtic Tiger and the subsequent crash.

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Blindboy told Lunchtime Live: "For me it was a flurry of irrational spending - we all remember the irrational spending.

"One thing that really stuck out to me - I only thought about it about a month ago - in Limerick people used to go to the bar and people used to drink this drink that had actual gold in it.

"It was called Goldschläger - your buddy would go up and go 'I'm getting a shot of this Goldschläger stuff' and you'd say 'Why?' and then this rumour would fly around that if you drink this drink, it has actual gold in it and the gold slits the inside of your throat and this causes you to absorb alcohol more".

"It was about 2008 so we didn't really have the internet, so no one really questioned how absolutely ridiculous it was.

"But that's what I think when someone says to me 'What was the Celtic Tiger like in Limerick?', people in Limerick were drinking gold to try and slit their own throats with it".

"It's so beautifully irrational".

'Born with entitlement'

Blindboy said he had never experienced anything like this, which saw Limerick transformed for all the wrong reasons.

"I was born in the 80s and I never knew a recession... I was genuinely born with - I suppose I'd call it an entitlement now.

"Limerick is a ghost town now but when I was growing up there was buildings being built, as far as I was concerned all of my friends would stay in Limerick, they'd be able to get jobs in Limerick - and then it just went all of a sudden and no one was prepared".

"In Limerick we had a factory, Dell, everyone I knew was working in Dell and earning unbelievable money.

"The cash just got taken away - the shock was that people of my age didn't know any different."

He said his brothers tried to explain it all to him.

"I remember my older brothers were saying to me 'Look it's a recession - all it means is that things go quiet for a while and everything starts to look like it needs a lick of paint'.

"I didn't know any different, so it was a real shock".

He said one of the most shocking things he saw was in 2011, in the middle of the recession.

"I was filming with Channel 4 in Limerick in what's now Troy Studios, but it was an abandoned Dell factory.

"Inside it was jet skis, hit tubs and all these really, really expensive luxury items just for miles.

"And I remember going 'What is this?' and it was all the luxury items in Celtic Tiger Ireland that had been confiscated".

"And that always sticks with me".

'They don't want to return home'

He also said he believes people who have gone to Australia since the crash will probably not come back.

"They've stopped feeling Irish, they don't want to return home... they don't want to pay the house prices, they don't want to pay the car insurance.

"They're in Australia and what they're doing is putting solar panels on their roof and selling electricity to the Government".

But he said that people should not be blamed for being extravagant.

"The fact of the matter is it was the Government and the bankers who are responsible here, not necessarily the people who bought into what was being sold.

"In the same way with COVID right now - yes house parties and stuff are an issue, but so is direct provision centres and so are meat factories - and we've to be cautious of any narrative that tries to blame people cause the Government will use this as a way to get around it".

'People were drinking gold' - Blindboy Boatclub on 'the shock' of the recession

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image: A mural by art group Subset of Blindboy Boatclub, one half of Irish comedy hip hop group 'The Rubberbandits', is seen in Dublin city centre in 2018. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images

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