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For some time now I've felt like an honorary citizen of Ireland, having married a girl from Dublin and been blessed with two children upon which my wife and I have bestowed the most Irish of names. I've visited the country numerous times over the last 15 years and find myself becoming more intrigued with its history, culture and music with each visit. I've witnessed first hand Ireland's rapid evolution under the influence of unprecedented economic growth and the tidal wave of change brought by the European union. Any such metamorphosis brings with it changes that are both good and bad. The skies of Ireland's major cities have in recent years become thick with giant construction cranes, and its citizens have seen real estate prices hit astronomical highs. Ireland's youth no longer are confronted with the economic necessity of emigration, and expatriates have begun to return home in increasing numbers. The country now faces ironic and unforeseen challenges in the wake of its stunning reversal of fortune.

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