Public enterprises in Ireland were offshoots of political nationalism. They were part of a protectionist economic policy and in 1980 employed over 90.000 staff in a total national employment figure of 1.1m. Public opinion moved away from public enterprises because of perceived high costs to both consumers and taxpayers. In the Celtic Tiger era since 1987 the share of public enterprises in total employment has fallen by almost two-thirds to 2.7 percent. Ireland has experienced major increases in GNP per head and in employment by adopting open economy policies and securing large increases in exports and in foreign direct investment. No privatised enterprise has been re-nationalised. It is public policy to retain network infrastructure such as the electricity and gas grids in public ownership while selling state companies in areas such as food, banking, telecoms, and shipping.