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Critical reflections on the Celtic Tiger

Sexual images and innuendo have become commonplace in contemporary advertising; they often fail to register in any meaningful way with the audience. This book examines the essentially racist stereotypes through which Irish people have conventionally been regarded have been increasingly challenged and even displaced perhaps by a sequence of rather more complimentary perspectives. The various developments that are signified within the figure of the Celtic Tiger might be considered to have radically altered the field of political possibility in Ireland. The enormous cuts in public expenditure that marked this period are held to have established a desirable, stable macroeconomic environment. The Celtic Tiger shows that one can use the rhetoric about 'social solidarity' while actually implementing policies which increase class polarisation. The book discusses the current hegemonic construction of Ireland as an open, cosmopolitan, multicultural, tourist-friendly society. The two central pieces of legislation which currently shape Irish immigration policy are the 1996 Refugee Act and the Immigration Bill of 1999. The book offers a critical examination of the realities of the Celtic Tiger for Irish women. Processes of nation state formation invariably invoke homogeneous narratives of ethnicity and national identity. To invoke a collective subject of contemporary Ireland rhetorically is to make such a strategic utopian political assumption. For the last few hundred years, the Gaeltacht has exemplified the crisis of Irish modernity. Culture becomes capital, and vice versa, while political action increasingly consists of the struggle to maintain democratic autonomy in the face of global market forces.

An introduction to the book
Colin Coulter

1 The end of Irish history? An introduction to the book COLIN COULTER During the Easter vacation of 2001, I happened to be travelling through the United States and picked up a copy of a renowned popular music magazine to pass the time on a short internal flight. While leafing through the publication, I stumbled across a feature that struck me as having no little cultural significance. It was a single-frame, full-page advertisement for some commodity or other set in a stylish contemporary bathroom that could have been located in more or less any major city in

in The end of Irish history?
The tragedy (and comedy) of accelerated modernisation
Kieran Keohane
Carmen Kuhling

, what clues can we find that, in their ends (their goals), reveal the ends of contemporary forms of Irish life, and the end of Irish history? James Joyce’s interiors in Dubliners, especially and typically in the stories ‘The Sisters’, ‘The Boarding House’, ‘Clay’ and ‘The Dead’, are microcosmic representations of paralysis, darkness and death, the closed inner worlds characteristic of Dublin crushed and squeezed by the British Empire, the Holy Catholic Church, nationalism and commercialism.24 More recently, the London-Irish playwright Martin McDonagh has provided a

in The end of Irish history?
G. Honor Fagan

affirmative, albeit qualified, response. The colonial legacy is seen as enduring and all attempts to ‘revise’ Irish history beyond the nationalist myths are rejected out of hand. Thus, for example, Robbie McVeigh argues that this move to ‘decolonise’ (or ‘postcolonise’) Irish history is ‘factually incorrect and intellectually dishonest’ and we are enjoined ‘to address the colonial legacy directly in order to transcend its negative and corrupting consequences’.14 This point may be taken simply as a truism but it does point to an apparent blind spot of the new ‘postcolonial

in The end of Irish history?
Open Access (free)
A reminder from the present
Pete Shirlow

-11.P65 204 26/3/03, 15:19 Northern Ireland 205 about Northern Ireland is now rather greater than before. Anecdotal and personal experiences suggest that there has, in recent years, been a growth in anti-unionist prejudice in the Republic. The recent rehabilitation of Michael Collins, an individual who had previously virtually disappeared from Irish history, and the controversy that attended the proposal that the Orange Order should march in the centre of Dublin both suggest that nationalism continues to exercise an appeal within the twenty-six counties. Each

in The end of Irish history?
Community, language and culture under the Celtic Tiger
Steve Coleman

individual hearths, creating an all too worldly power – a multinational corporation. Here, the state was selling back to its people something that already belonged to them – a semi-state company – but it was also selling back to them a particular sense of their own ‘traditions’. Throughout Irish history, relatively localised cultural forms have been appropriated as emblems of wider collectivities. In the process of Irish nation building, forms 175 eih ch-10.P65 175 26/3/03, 15:18 176 Coleman of popular expression which originated in the relatively autochthonous

in The end of Irish history?