New rules of belonging
in Irish adventures in nation-building
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Economic Development (1958), a report written by T.K. Whitaker, the then senior official in the Department of Finance, has been venerated as the foundation text of a new post-1950s nation-building project. The main body of the report was nothing special; it mostly focused on prospects for Irish agriculture. The second canonical text of this new developmental nation-building project was the OECD/Irish Government 1965 report Investment in Education. This has been credited with jolting the focus of Irish education from religious formation to one on economic development. By the 1960s Travellers had become economically and socially displaced from the rural society. The general movement of Travellers to urban centres was part of broader demographic changes in Irish society. Efforts to settle Travellers in designated halting sites were blocked by local politicians representing residents of whatever areas were proposed.

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