This article offers a sketch of contemporary Irish society as it prepares to mark the hundredth anniversary of the War of Independence, which opened in 1918. As Irish society negotiates the “decade of centenaries” and recalls a tumultuous period of social struggles and state formations, as well as an epoch of enormous literary creativity, it is still dealing with the devastations of the 2008 global financial crisis that led to the overnight meltdown of the Celtic Tiger and to what might be called a “decade of austerities.” The collapse of the Celtic Tiger, and the sense of supine dependence on foreign powers and international capital that followed, poses hard questions about the nature of twenty-first-century Irish society that the country’s political, economic, religious, intellectual, and cultural leaders have still seriously to address.

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