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Introduction
‘What rough beast?’ Monsters of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
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The history of Ireland is one of fighting with monsters and in the process becoming monsters ourselves. Blood-sucking, bloated monsters should belong to a bygone era. Jonathan Swift had identified them as the Anglo-Irish aristocracy of the eighteenth century. To kill this monster, just as with Dracula, Enlightened Reason would have to become alloyed with mysticism, passion and violence, and the vampire slayers would risk becoming monsters themselves. Patrick Pearse, leader of the 1916 Rising and author of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, knows that to kill the monster he has to enlist the forces of the underworld, he has to raise the dead. Pearse's un-dead men carry on, even when their work is done, and the Republic of Ireland has lived in the shadow of the gunman. But the gunman is not the only shadowy figure haunting modern Ireland. A much more insidious fiend is the 'gombeen man'.

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