Irish farming knowledges

This chapter explores the ways in which different forms of farming knowledges are produced, disseminated and influence farmers' willingness or ability to make changes to their farming systems. It proposes two concepts from Morgan and Murdoch: a simple classification of forms of knowledge, and the idea of networks to help understand relations among possessors of knowledge and the process of disseminating knowledge. Many farmers have exhibited a strong buy-in to the productivist discourse since the 1960s. It concurs with farmers' understandings of their role as producers of food commodities using conventional methods. The main external, expert sources of information used by farmers are Teagasc (a semi-state agency), and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF). Teagasc provides advisory, training and research services to farmers, the agriculture and food industry and the wider rural community.

in Spacing Ireland
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Renegotiating the Irish border

The changing economic fortunes of both the Republic of Ireland (the South) and Northern Ireland (the North) since 2007 have had a significant effect on the everyday geographies of people living on both sides of the Irish border. This chapter explores the ways in which socio-economic change can influence how people conceptualise and negotiate a political border that has become increasingly permeable. It begins with a brief discussion of the meaning and significance of national boundaries before moving on to document the ebb and flow of movement across the Irish border since its creation in 1920. The chapter reviews the economic tipping point and its impact on cross-border mobility. It discusses some of the issues surrounding the everyday geographies of trans-border communities. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the permeability of the border and its ramifications for the relationship between the two parts of the island of Ireland.

in Spacing Ireland
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Spaces and spectres of Ireland after NAMA

This chapter provides a short synopsis of the ghost estate issue, detailing the factors that contributed to the phenomenon. It describes the way in which the estates have been invoked as symbolic spaces within the national narrative of collapse, and the State's response in the form of the National Assets Management Agency (NAMA). The presence of ghost estates in the Irish landscape exemplifies the problems associated with the Celtic Tiger property boom. From the early 1990s, Ireland experienced a significant transformation of its demographic profile, coupling natural population growth with a reversal in migration trends. As a result of the property and banking crises, these estates went from being half-built in the sense that they were not yet completed to being half-built in the sense that they would never be completed.

in Spacing Ireland
Ireland’s grassroots food growing movement

A rise in food growing outside the farm has occurred in tandem with Ireland's economic decline as ordinary citizens seek to grow food in alternative spaces such as allotments and community, school and home gardens. This change in Irish society appears to be more than just a reaction to the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. This chapter describes the rise of Ireland's grassroots food growing movement and a typology of food growing projects. The broader dynamics of these initiatives is finally considered in order to explore if they are simply the reactionary space of a minority or whether they might become a more sustained resistance. The food growing movement, which is both urban and rural, is driven by individual leaders, groups of citizens, or individuals with involvement in food and non-food activities, such as food producers, community activists and other professionals.

in Spacing Ireland
The spa in Celtic Tiger Ireland

This chapter begins with a short discussion of the history and development of the modern spa with a focus on Ireland and how that history in part reflects wider narratives of boom and bust. It describes the micro-geographies of spa sites alongside wider discussions on classification and regulation to show how wellness and tourism geographies overlap in such spaces. The chapter looks at the modern spa through the lens of therapeutic landscapes and critically discusses the different practices identifiable at the sites, both of health/wellness but also of conspicuous consumption. In looking at the rise and uncertain future of the modern Irish spa, one could consider it a revealing representation of the excesses that characterised the Celtic Tiger era. The chapter concludes by showing how applying a critical therapeutic landscapes approach can enable us to see spas as sites where complex and contested social relations are acting out in place.

in Spacing Ireland
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Geographies of the post-boom era

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book shows well-established concepts such as belonging, mobility, space, consumption, culture and place. It focuses on immigration, a rather novel phenomenon for Irish society experienced during the second half of the boom, following the accession of new EU member states. The book presents the theme of Ireland's new migrants to query other manifestations of place, experience and identity in the context of horticultural production. It discusses the challenges of one marginal societal group and their space in contemporary Ireland. The book also shows how the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger has impacted on the everyday geographies of people living on both sides of the Irish border. It also presents a chronicle of feature articles on Ireland and its representation as an exotic other on the edge of Europe.

in Spacing Ireland

This chapter highlights the importance of the ordinary, as a site for enquiring into how people make sense of their world through the routine trajectories that they make and re-make in everyday spaces. It also highlights the spatiality of everyday leisure practices to unravel some of the connections that link these to the occasional leisure practice of holidaying. The chapter presents the lived realities of a particular group of women: lone parents of dependent children living on low incomes in Dublin. In spatial terms, the routine mobilities of the women studied had a lot in common, with most being both limited and highly routinised. The value that many of the women placed on holidaying was accentuated by a general understanding. The understanding was that they were being marginalised and excluded from what had become, during the 1990s and 2000s, a widespread social practice in Ireland.

in Spacing Ireland
Making work pay

This chapter draws ethnographic fieldwork to consider changes in the profile of horticultural labour in Ireland and attempts to situate the behaviour and actions of growers and workers in relation to local and global economic processes. It explores how uneven production within horticulture, aligned with changes to state welfare provisions following accession of the EU-12, has impacted on migrant workers and their families. In parallel with changes such as centralised distribution along with concentration within the food retail market, production within the horticulture sector has seen significant consolidation. During the Celtic Tiger years, consumers sought out pre-packaged horticultural products. Labour demand volatility is a well-established trait of the horticultural sector. The State moved to support the horticultural labour market with the 2001 introduction of a contract labour programme. The labour programme called the Seasonal Horticultural Workers Scheme (SHWS) build on the more general work permit system initiated in 1999.

in Spacing Ireland
Young people in migrant worker families in Ireland

This chapter focuses on the experiences of children and young people in migrant worker families in Europe, who have migrated to Ireland because one or both of their parents have migrated for employment. The Celtic Tiger period, approximately from 1995 to 2007, transformed Ireland's global profile. During these prosperous years, emigration from Ireland reduced and rates of immigration increased, enhanced by Irish return migrants who seized the chance to return to their homeland. Adult migrants from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) often experienced de-skilling or under-skilling in Ireland, gaining places in the labour market that were below their qualifications and skills level. As conjecture over the state of the Irish economy, families such as Philip Lawton's were keenly aware that they needed to have a plan for the future, one that would provide for their financial needs.

in Spacing Ireland
Communities and collaboration along the Irish border

Inter-community collaboration at the micro-level advanced considerably during the period of the Celtic Tiger, thus helping to drive the peace process forward and slowly raise the remnants of the emerald curtain. This chapter notes how the Irish border has transitioned from a physical, economic and political barrier to a focus for collaborative action, most notably across small-scale settlements. In the case of cross-border and transnational cooperation, the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and the Programme for Peace and Reconciliation, both dedicated to Northern Ireland and the southern border counties, aimed to stimulate socio-economic revival and growth. The chapter concludes by assessing how the current economic crash and the actual and pending redirection of funding will have consequences for the sustainability of cross-border partnerships and spatial planning in the Irish border context.

in Spacing Ireland