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Allegedly coined by the Irish economist David Mc Williams (but the first recorded use of the phrase is by Kevin Gardiner), as a description of the Irish economy of the late nineties and early millennium years, nothing could be more apt... except for the space shuttle Challenger. A term stolen from the Asian tiger Economies of the early nineties, it describes how, propelled by government incompetence and corruption, and a shedload of Euro from nowhere, the Irish Economy got off the launchpad through cheers all around.

For ten years it soared as if nothing was wrong, surviving the (dot)bust and 9/11. And then, suddenly, like Challenger, when everything looked like it was okay, the whole lot blew up...

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