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.
contributed to the crisis. This
chapter provides a short synopsis of the ghost estate issue, detailing the factors
that contributed to the phenomenon, 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 NationalAssetsManagementAgency.
The Irish property bubble
The presence of ghost estates in the Irish landscape exemplifies the problems
associated with the Celtic Tiger property boom. Put simply, too many houses
were built. From 1996 to 2005, 553,267 houses were built in
(Harvey, 2008; Lefebvre, 1968), ‘the just city’ (Fainstein, 2010), and Marcuse’s
(2009) ‘commons planning’. Here, the chapter points to the practical means
of developing the basis to a more balanced and socially orientated urban and
surburban future. It is argued that the existence of vacant property and land,
which in the case of the NationalAssetManagementAgency (NAMA) is, by
default at least, in state ownership, provides a platform for a shift in the approach taken towards urban liveability in Ireland.
The liveable city
Throughout the last number of decades, the
Ireland are changed or changing.
The book is divided into three parts that work through well-established concepts such as belonging, mobility, space, consumption, culture and place, but
in innovative ways that fragment well-worn categorisations and present a rich
substrate for novel geographical thinking and analysis.
Part I: Spacing belonging
In Part I, the collection explores the revolving intersections of identity politics with place. In the opening chapter, ‘Ghost estates: spaces and spectres of
Ireland after NAMA’ (NationalAssetManagementAgency