Only the '90s and noughties can be remembered as two decades in the right place, at the right time to steward the Millennium’s night of passage. A euphoric and fearful time where 1,000 years in passing reached its date of reset. Legion of Mary prayer groups went head to head with world extinction theorists. One side prayed for the continuance of life after the stroke of midnight whilst the other prepared us for possible annihilation. It was an uncertain time.
Sure you'd better say an oul prayer
January 1, 2000, saw the Celtic Tiger take prideful leadership of the Irish economy. An overdraft request would see you leaving the bank with mortgage approval for a 4 bedroomed house. Well, so it seemed. January 2002 had us peering into purses like wary tourists at a knockoff Louis Vuitton market stall in Spain. Cashiers taking our now-defunct punts and giving us euros to examine front and back under the light.
*Not the actual Celtic Tiger (RIP)*
Anyone without a large horde of plastic bags in 2002 was hit with a new plastic bag levy. 15cent a mala. Behaviours changed overnight with a 90% drop in usage. Then an indoor smoking ban ignited tensions in 2004. Outraged publicans deem smokey air a national treasure. Drinking and smoking, a centuries-old relationship, divorced under government rule.
The album that gave us all hope (and despair)
2008 saw us enter a time of recession with the Celtic Tiger slain by soaring unemployment numbers and emigration of 50,000 people. Others hunkered down, avoiding census representatives, in granny's log cabin out the back. So what kept the nation going during such an economic depression? The Irish spirit of course, and distraction. Hours were spent in peer groups perfecting the extremely thin eyebrows of the noughties. Fake tan was developing across the nation. The Twilight Saga captivated our hunger for fantasy and werewolf love stories. Katy Perry lent music to our mood with her smash hit 'Hot n' Cold' and the timely emergence of Irish band The Script whose number one hit 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved' touched a nerve with Irish mammy's who had just welcomed adult sons back into the box room.