County Kerry, Ireland

In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100

In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100 - Book Float

In Fact is a story I have wanted to tell for a long time. Despite what many people believe, human progress all over the world has been incredible in recent decades. And Ireland’s progress has exceeded that of practically anywhere else. 

We live longer than ever before, we have never been healthier or better educated, we earn five times more than our grandparents did, our personal freedoms exceed those of any previous generation, and the lives of women and children have been transformed for the better. 

I wanted to prove this beyond doubt for readers, and to explain how we achieved it. 

In Fact book chapters
Book Chapters

I have gathered the data that tells the under-told story of our national progress across every aspect of Irish life. I have interviewed nearly fifty domain experts who have shared their insight into how progress was achieved in their fields.

Together, we explore 100 remarkable achievements of our first 100 years as an independent nation. I identify the four factors that have accounted for Ireland’s extraordinary success, as well as the five most prominent psychological biases that prevent us from easily acknowledging how far we have come.

Needless to say, our progress has not been flawless. I conclude by discussing some of the important areas that we must now address if we are to sustain our high quality of life in the century ahead.

Birthdays are a time for celebration and Ireland’s 100th is the perfect time to take stock. As I demonstrate, we have good reason to be proud of what we have achieved together as a people, and every reason to be optimistic about our future.

Mark Henry with Fact book
Book Illustrations

What People Say

Uplifting. Perfect for flicking through by the fire.

‘Books of the Year’ List
The Irish Times

A tremendous corrective to excessive negativity. It’s a real eye-opener.

Matt Cooper
Today FM

A great book to dip into.

Pat Kenny

A timely effort to detail the reality of the way we live now. A beautifully produced book.

Stephen Collins
The Irish Times

Ireland has so much yet to do, but we have achieved much. We have changed for the better - this wonderful book shows how.

Paschal Donohoe
Minister for Finance

A treasure trove of statistical tables, informed analysis, observation and insights. Anyone working in marketing must have their own copy of this book.

John Fanning

If you want to cheer yourself up, read this book. It will counter all the doom and gloom out there using real data that confirms what a great country Ireland is.

Prof. Luke O’Neill
Trinity College Dublin

A superb production and a really interesting counter to the ‘doomscrolling’ approach to recent history. A valuable addition to the canon on Ireland.

Prof. John O’Brennan
Maynooth University

I really want to recommend anyone interested in facts and success stories to buy this book.

Marian L. Tupy
In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100 - Book Side

Available to buy at all good book stores

Trinity College Library, Ireland


How well do you know Ireland?

Take my six question quiz to gauge your understanding of the progress we have made as a nation.

Mark Henry - Author