Denis Linehan
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Reading the Irish motorway
Landscape, mobility and politics after the crash
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This chapter focuses on the shifting meanings and reception of the motorway in the boom time and after. It describes the various rationalities about the motorway intersected with Irish identity and more broadly with the troubled fields of modernisation and politics. In spite of major social concerns about urban traffic congestion and national debates regarding the inefficient railway service during its development, notably to the West of Ireland, the motorway was enrolled into a state-building project. Most of the tolls collected on Irish motorways leave Ireland to boost the share price of international firms. The international firms, whose road assets, complement their very specific global portfolio in peripheral, modernising and largely neo-liberal states such as Singapore and Chile. For the motorway and the narratives revealed through the landscape and spaces with which it intersects, its place in the contemporary cultural geography of the Ireland remains open to critique and protest.

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Spacing Ireland

Place, society and culture in a post-boom era


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