The Republic of Ireland is affectionately known as the 'Celtic Tiger'; a phrase that refers to its current prosperity. Since Celts never had tigers and those animals are not indigenous to the country, the slogan is rather dubious. Even more uncertain is the notion that contemporary Ireland is Celtic. In this essay I explore the link between economic conditioning and the Irish language, arguing that policies towards this Celtic language have consistently reinforced its association with poverty. Although Irish is not inherently a language of the poor, British and Irish governments have consistently portrayed it as such, and Irish people have been conditioned to associate the language with deprivation. This condition is, however, not irreversible!