It was, but compared to the USA even the normal working Joe didnt have a huge amount of disposable income. Watch The Commitments , for a good view of pre celtic tiger Ireland. Belfast wasnt much different even in the early 90`s The best gear I remember seeing was a primary school friend whose dad had really nice SS Technics Gear. So started my love of the Jap brand. Ireland was pretty bleak in the early half of the 20th century, hence why so many left for a better life in the USA from North and South!