The Pope's Children

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The Pope's Children
AuthorDavid McWilliams
GenreCommentary, Society, Politics
Publication date
October 2005
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages281 pp (Hardback edition)
305.23509417 22
LC ClassHQ799.8.I73 M38 2005

The Pope's Children: Ireland's New Elite is a book by journalist and economist David McWilliams.

In his book McWilliams describes the effects that the Celtic Tiger and the property boom have had on Ireland, resulting in the rise of a new bourgeoisie.

The book's title reflects McWilliams' belief that Pope John Paul II's visit to Ireland in the autumn of 1979 was a watershed in the country's history. The children born during that period (who at the time of publication are between the ages of 25 and 35) are "The Pope's Children" – the first generation since the Great Famine of the mid-19th century to experience an increase in the size of the population. (The rise in birth rates in Ireland began in the early 1970s and peaked in June 1980, exactly nine months after the pope's visit.) According to McWilliams, these 620,000 people became the country's key generation. They are the dynamo of Ireland's economy, politics and culture, and they will shape its face in the 21st century.

In November 2006 RTÉ broadcast a three-part documentary series In Search of the Pope's Children based upon the book and presented by McWilliams.

Other books on the topic of the Irish economy from this author include 'The Generation Game' and 'Following the Money', each of which continue with some of the same characters and topics.