Worlds turned upside down?
The Older People’s Uprising, 2008
in Defining events
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This chapter offers a critical reading of the Uprising and its place in recent Irish history. It analyses the forms that resistance took and the extent to which it transgressed or reinforced the clientelist norms of political engagement in Ireland. For many participants in the Uprising, this was an opportunity to face down ageism, as reflected in the budget's targeting of older people and as a force within Irish society. Condemnation of Ireland's two-tier or 'apartheid' health services is commonplace. The health system itself is complex; private and public services coexist and even overlap, and entitlements are finely graduated so that only a minority qualify for free access to primary services via the medical card regime. Defending and rationalising medical card retrenchment, Minister Brian Lenihan also appealed to vague concepts of fairness and the presumed inefficiencies of universalism.

Defining events

Power, resistance and identity in twenty-first-century Ireland

Editors: Rosie Meade and Fiona Dukelow

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