Michael Taft is the Research Officer for Unite the Union in Ireland. He is also a writer who appears frequently on Broadsheet and the Irish Left Review, and writes his own blog at Unite's Notes On The Front.
This is the World Bank economic openness index that I mentioned that shows that Ireland has a more open economy than the countries that Michael compares us to. This measure actually understates the openness of Ireland's economy, because it is calculated using Ireland's GDP, which is artificially inflated by multinational transfer pricing for tax reasons. Despite this, Ireland is in the same league as Hong Kong and Singapore, not Scandinavian countries.
I mentioned to Michael that average wages for electricity workers in the republic were double those of the north. I actually understated the position, as of 2011, the figures, excluding pension costs were €85,000 in the republic and €41,000 in the north.