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?
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Unearthing the truth in Patrick O’Keeffe’s The Hill Road
Vivian Valvano Lynch

16/2/09 9:29 AM Page 251 Secret gardens 251 it is tempting to read this damaged casualty as emblematic of many generations of the lost and hurt, his presence in O’Keeffe’s fiction is a sign of what has been only a very recent public recognition in Ireland of the contribution Irish soldiers made during World War I.3 Through the attention it pays to Cagney’s fate, O’Keeffe’s novella, like Sebastian Barry’s novel, A Long, Long Way, participates in an important, more inclusive interpretation of Irish history. The veteran’s story is conveyed by O’Keeffe in non

in Irish literature since 1990
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?
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The co-operative movement, development and the nation-state, 1889–1939

Civilising Rural Ireland examines how modern Ireland emerged out of the social and economic transformation prompted by the rural co-operative movement. The movement emerged in response to systemic economic problems that arose throughout the nineteenth century and coincided with a wide-ranging project of cultural nationalism. Within a short space of time the co-operative movement established a swathe of creameries, agricultural societies and credit societies, leading to a radical reorganisation of rural Ireland and helping to create a distinctive Irish political economy. The work of overlooked co-operative experts is critically examined for the first time and reinserted into the process of state development. The interventions of these organisers, intellectuals and farmers built up key institutions that shaped everyday life across rural communities. The movement weathered war and revolution, to become an indispensable part of an Irish state infrastructure after independence in 1922. The strained relationship and economic rivalry that developed between Irish and British co-operators is also explored in order to illuminate the changing relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom from an economic perspective. Civilising Rural Ireland will appeal to a wide audience interested in modern Irish history and readers are introduced to an eclectic range of personalities who shared an interest in co-operation and whose actions possessed important consequences for the way Ireland developed. The creative use of local and national sources, many of which are examined for the first time, mean the book offers a new perspective on an important period in the making of modern Ireland.

Open Access (free)
Sarah Roddy

oversight is especially puzzling when one considers the central significance of religion within Irish history more generally, and the extent to which historians of the diaspora have examined the religious dimension of migrant life in their various destinations; for instance the churches’ roles in helping immigrants to settle and to prosper, if not always to assimilate, has been a major theme in Irish diaspora studies.25 The relevant literature that does exist tends to be of a limited nature, often following Schrier’s lead in identifying a particular strain of post

in Population, providence and empire
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?
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Culture, criticism, theory since 1990
Scott Brewster

– indeed many of the contentious exchanges had taken place before the 1990s – we can survey the battles for the past and the future since 1990 on two fronts: the attitude in cultural texts to the perceived stagnation and repression of the De Valera era, and the attitude to commemoration. In both cases, previous historical moments are read through the prism of competing versions of the ‘new’ Ireland. Revisionist historiography had set itself to demystify the national story, freeing the study of Irish history from partisanship and popular sentiment. The impulse to question

in Irish literature since 1990
Irish fiction and autobiography since 1990
Liam Harte

, sketches his intellectual formation as a liberal revisionist, central to which was his study of Irish history at University College Dublin in the early 1970s. ‘Outside in the world there were car bombs and hunger strikes’, Tóibín recalls, ‘done in the name of our nation, in the name of history. Inside we were cleansing history, concentrating on those aspects of our past which would make us good, worthy citizens who would keep the Irish 26 county state safe from the IRA and IRA fellow-travellers.’55 His reading of an essay by Joseph Lee, which challenged the notion that

in Irish literature since 1990
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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?