Tuairim, intellectual debate and policy formulation

Rethinking ireland, 1954–75

Author: Tomás Finn

This book is concerned with political, intellectual and cultural developments in the context of assessments as to how Ireland was transformed during the 1950s and the 1960s. It analyses how Tuairim (meaning ‘opinion’ in Irish), an intellectual movement influenced key public policy decisions in relation to Northern Ireland, education, industrial schools and censorship.

An analysis of Tuairim shows that the 1950s and 1960s were a transformative phase in modern Irish history. In these years, a conservative society dominated by the Catholic Church, and a state which was inward-looking and distrustful of novelty, gradually opened up to fresh ideas. This study considers this change. It explores how Tuairim was at the vanguard of the challenge to orthodoxy and conservatism. The society established branches throughout Ireland, including Belfast, and in London. It produced frequent critical publications and boasted a number of members who later became prominent in Irish public life; this included the future Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, Donal Barrington, later a Supreme Court Judge and Miriam Hederman O’Brien, a future Chancellor in the University of Limerick. Tuairim provided a unique space for civic engagement for its members and made a significant contribution to debates on contemporary Ireland and its future.

This book is concerned with the society’s role in the modernisation of Ireland. In so doing it also addresses topics of continued relevance for the Ireland of today, including the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the institutional care of children.

Abstract only
Log-in for full text


Winner of the NUI Galway School of Humanities Book Prize, 2013

 

‘This study is welcome for its retrieval of an important group in the making of contemporary Irish society and for the questions it asks about the role of ideas and how they inform or influence the public and policy makers.'
Brian Girvin
University of Glasgow

    • Full book download (PDF with hyperlinks)
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 847 105 13
Full Text Views 412 10 0
PDF Downloads 298 8 1