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Are we building for an economically more stable future or are we laying the foundations for economic decline?

Presented and scripted by RTÉ Economics Editor George Lee, Boom relives the economic revolution that has transformed Ireland over the past 20 years and asks - how long can it last? If the economic legacy of our boom lies in concrete and credit, are we borrowing from our futures and spending our tomorrows today?

Boom brings us back in time. Finding the origins of the boom within a post-war world where the growth of capital, primarily from America, went unfettered, George looks at the wave of capital that washed over Ireland during the past 20 years, bringing with it nearly full employment and massive growth throughout the economy. This eastward rolling wave of capital, and our integration into Europe, created conditions in which the Irish economy sky-rocketed.

Lee's story takes us back to the grim 1980s: families being separated amidst tears and anger at Dublin and Knock airports, a country isolated and poor in everything but location. But is the present a kind of Eden? If it is, says Lee, we are likely to be ejected at any moment, as we weave a web of personal credit that far outstrips even the worst excesses of our national debt in the 1980s. George Lee asks are we building for an economically more stable future or are we laying the foundations for economic decline?

Taking a tour around the country, George speaks to entrepreneurs and workers in different sectors. Asking as many questions as he answers, George Lee grapples with what could be a bad case of irrational exuberance.

Watch the Show Watch the full show: 1 June 2006

George Lee
George Lee