Northern Ireland’s never had it so good?

Leo Tolstoy began his novel Anna Karenina with the memorable assertion that “happy families are all alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Last night even the Belfast City Council was a fount of brotherly love. In the Bel Tel, Lindy McDowell has been counting the ways in which Northern Ireland’s been getting happier:

…cynicism may be missing the public mood. Because for once the public mood seems to be one confident step ahead of the eternal realists.

There aren’t many people here, for example, who didn’t get that wee jolt of shared pride at the accomplishments of our hat-trick of golfing heroes last year. Ditto the MTV awards. All of that made us look good.

This year we’ve got the Titanic centenary – finally we’re making something of our connection with that legend. And MTV will be back for that too – an endorsement in itself.

Then there’s the Irish Open. And now the All-Ireland Fleadh which we are assured will rake in somewhere in the region of £40m for the local economy.

So are we getting less and less like our old unhappy selves with every passing year?