I am reminded today of Christian Pauls, the former German Ambassador in Ireland who called it so right about Celtic Tiger excess in 2007

In the wake of the Anglo Irish Bank ‘tapes’, many references have been made to an infamous and, as it turned out, very accurate description of the Celtic Tiger by the then German Ambassador in Ireland in a speech in north Dublin in 2006. Ambassador Pauls was forced to apologise for his blunt description of Irish excess, greed and poor services, but he has since been proved to have been entirely correct is his assessment. A year ago, I caught up with him in Berlin and asked him how he now felt about what he had said and what he thought of Ireland’s current economic situation. He was impressively modest and sanguine about his prescient assessment and positive about Ireland coming through the crisis. He also spoke about the crisis in Europe and how Germany is in the driving seat – ‘the last place it wanted to be.’

christian pauls


‘In summary, the Irish are perceived as “having had a party” and now they are paying for it. “There is a relaxed attitude to Ireland because we know you are going to make it,” says Pauls. “Exports have remained steady or have risen over the past four to five years, and the country has strong assets, a young, educated population, which is English speaking. You are a resilient people. We know what you’ve gone through. Let’s face it, look at where you were 50 or 60 years ago, when Ireland was exporting its people, and there was no confidence.”’

Full interview here:


This is a report of Pauls original comments in 2007, and the reprimand he received from the Irish Government: