Irish gimmick?

I was amused by Ivan Massow's reference to Ireland's economic success in his piece on the euro (Politics, 26 February). Contrary to Massow's view that Ireland was "considered third world before the euro", the country's success is built on a sustained set of economic and social policies reaching back many decades. The transformation Ireland has achieved since gaining independence a little over 80 years ago was not built on gimmicks or on a single economic decision - not even a decision as important as joining the euro.

Kevin Dowling
London SW16

This article first appeared in the 12 March 2007 issue of the New Statesman, Iraq: the hidden cost of the war