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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.

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Geographies of the post-boom era
Denis Linehan and Caroline Crowley

. Denis Linehan brings these themes together in Chapter 5, ‘Reading the Irish motorway: landscape, mobility and politics after the crash’, where he presents a reading of the new Irish motorway network as a contested space at the heart of discourses of the boom and its subsequent bust. As the Celtic Tiger’s workers and socialites pulsed along them, these arteries challenged notions of progress and heritage, drawing on symbols of mythology to legitimate the social and environmental change they wrought. In the current period of recession and ‘peak oil’, the Irish motorway

in Spacing Ireland
Landscape, mobility and politics after the crash
Denis Linehan

5 Reading the Irish motorway: landscape, mobility and politics after the crash Denis Linehan During the boom, Ireland went on the move. The country became a commuter state. In this time, the Red Cow Roundabout became as famous as the Rock of Cashel. The stage on which this motion ultimately played out was the new motorway network. This billion-euro infrastructure ripples with ideology, power and culture – and is one of the defining landscapes of the new Ireland. Like the rapid expansion of housing, the Irish motorway network absorbed vast amounts of capital

in Spacing Ireland