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co-operative movement grow from a few businesses to a network of societies drawn across rural Ireland. The IAOS's intervention into the rural economy provoked conflict with traders, private dairy businesses and the CWS and this competition cost money. The establishment of the Irish Department for Agriculture and Technical Instruction (DATI) in 1900 provided a welcome source of support in the guise of an annual state subsidy. However, by the time of Æ's speech a breakdown in relations meant that the removal of a state subsidy on which the IAOS had grown reliant

in Civilising rural Ireland

powerful notion of ‘self-help by mutual help’. 5 This curious social phenomenon of rural co-operation noticed by international visitors such as Paul-Dubois and Lloyd reflected the conscious effort to reorganise Irish society completely, starting with the peasant and moving up through all levels of Irish social and political life. As Leeann Lane has argued, the IAOS represented one way in which farmers might be morally reconstituted as a ‘noble peasant of the cultural revival’. 6 Success in this mission required co-operators to fashion a coalition

in Civilising rural Ireland

for this attention stemmed from Æ, whose reputation as a literary man of letters and an economic thinker lent him an international stature. Æ's was a familiar name outside Ireland, and his house provided a first port of call for intrepid investigators who wanted to grasp the dynamics of a changing Irish Question. One of this number, Ruth Russell, worked as a journalist with the Chicago Tribune and published an account of her visit entitled What's the Matter with Ireland? As Russell travelled across an Ireland descending into violence and unrest, she concluded

in Civilising rural Ireland