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
Landscape, mobility and politics after the crash

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.

in Spacing Ireland

This chapter examines the processes and outcomes associated with the economic boom in Ireland. It focuses on the impact of what MacLaran and Williams call entrepreneurial forms of urban planning within Irish cities. The chapter then analyses current approaches to urban planning practice, with a critical focus on the continuity of threads from the economic boom of the past into the present. It draws on a number of broader urban theories, including concepts of 'the right to the city', 'the just city', and 'commons planning'. The chapter argues about the existence of vacant property and land. The vacant property and land, in the case of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) in state ownership, provides a platform for a shift in the approach taken towards urban liveability in Ireland.

in Spacing Ireland
Abstract only
Place, society and culture in a post-boom era

Ireland is a turbulent place. This book engages readers with the contours of transformation of Irish society through a series of distinct episodes and sites where change can be confronted. The content of the book intersects with the boom and bust themes to explore the economic and social implications of the recession. The processes are as diverse as cross-border development, farming knowledges, food movements, and the evolution of traditional Irish music. The modernisation of Irish society during the Celtic Tiger and its subsequent demise was a 'spatial drama' involving transformation in the material landscape and the imaginative representation of the island. The first part of the book explores the revolving intersections of identity politics with place. It tracks the discovery of the ghost estate and the ways in which it has been implicated in debates about the Irish economic crash, complicating ideas of home and community. After a discussion on immigration, the book discusses the role of migrants in filling labour and skill shortages. The second part pays attention to questions of mobility and consumption in urban and rural contexts. The new Irish motorway network, free time, leisure and holidaying in the lives of lone parents during the Celtic Tiger, and the role of National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are discussed. The third part explores diverse cultural practices and some longstanding representations of Ireland. An autobiographical tour of the pub session, National Geographic's representations of Irish landscape and the current Irish imagination are the key concepts of this part.

100 years of Ireland in National Geographic magazine

This chapter examines the representation of Ireland as an exotic other on the edge of Europe. For much of the twentieth century, Ireland was perceived as a comparatively poor, quaintly nostalgic location for the American imagination. Even during the brash economic boom in the late twentieth century, National Geographic magazine's (NG) representations of Irish landscape and society frequently reached back to earlier lyrical imagery of a laid-back, misty isle. The NG perspective from the 1930s reflected the preoccupations of the Harvard Irish Survey 1932 to 1936, which was interested in the ethnoracial typology of the Irish, especially in the west. During the years of silence, the NG's predictions of change in Ireland were more than realised. The Celtic Tiger economy transformed the life and landscape that had been a core aspect of the magazine's word and picture reportage on Ireland.

in Spacing Ireland
Exploring the session space

This chapter presents an autobiographical account of a regular session in one public house, which echoes the stories of other traditional Irish musicians throughout the country. The waves of Irish economic activity have always shaped the landscape of the traditional arts, and the links across the Atlantic are hardly new. The representation of Ireland and Irish culture on the 2009 Global Irish Economic Forum discussion is an integral part of the politics and economics of the nation, exemplifying the prominent role of the arts. Irish traditional music is integrally connected to Irish identity but the identity represented by Irish traditional music has changed greatly, as have the spaces for its performance and consumption. While Irish traditional music has developed in the homesteads of rural Ireland, entering public spaces in the twentieth century, it has become a globally and commercially successful genre.

in Spacing Ireland
Listening in/to Tim Robinson

Gerry Smyth considers the question of ‘listening’ as it relates to two philosophical systems: the phenomenology of listening associated with Jean-Luc Nancy and the existentialist listening associated with Martin Heidegger. Smyth argues that each of these systems connotes metaphysical and ethical approaches to listening, which are of particular relevance to Robinson in his various roles as cartographer, environmentalist, scientist, folklorist and dweller in the landscape.

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Matrixial gazing in Tim Robinson’s walk-art-text practice

Moynagh Sullivan argues that Robinson’s powerful literary mapping of Connemara avoids gendering the Irish landscape as feminine, resisting the dominant trope in twentieth-century Irish writing and film in which the countryside stands in for woman and often mother. Sullivan investigates Robinson’s mapping of Connemara and the Aran Islands alongside the work of artist, philosopher and psychoanalyst Bracha L. Ettinger – who also, similar to Robinson, maps psychic dimensions at the edge of consciousness – in order to illuminate the central encounter at the heart of Robinson’s map-making: a walk-art-text practice.

in Unfolding Irish landscapes