This book explores the issue of a collective representation of Ireland after the sudden death of the 'Celtic Tiger' and introduces the aesthetic idea that runs throughout. The focus is on the idea articulated by W. B. Yeats in his famous poem 'The Second Coming'. The book also explores the symbolic order and imaginative structure, the meanings and values associated with house and home, the haunted houses of Ireland's 'ghost estates' and the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household. It examines the sophisticated financial instruments derived from mortgage-backed securities that were a lynchpin of global financialization and the epicentre of the crash, the question of the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household of Europe. A story about fundamental values and principles of fairness and justice is discussed, in particular, the contemporary conflict that reiterates the ancient Irish mythic story of the Tain. The book suggests correspondences between Plato's Republic and the Irish republic in the deformations and devolution of democracy into tyranny. It traces a red thread from the predicament of the ancient Athenians to contemporary Ireland in terms of the need to govern pleonexia, appetites without limits. The political and economic policies and practices of Irish development, the designation of Ireland's 'tax free zones', are also discussed. Finally, the ideal type of person who has been emerging under the auspices of the neoliberal revolution is imagined.
Newspapers, magazines and pamphlets have always been central, almost sacred, forms of communication within Irish republican political culture. While social media is becoming the primary ideological battleground in many democracies, Irish republicanism steadfastly expresses itself in the traditional forms of activist journalism. Shinners, Dissos and Dissenters is a long-term analysis of the development of Irish republican activist media since 1998 and the tumultuous years following the end of the Troubles. It is the first in-depth analysis of the newspapers, magazines and online spaces in which the differing strands of Irish republicanism developed and were articulated during a period where schism and dissent defined a return to violence. Based on an analysis of Irish republican media outlets as well as interviews with the key activists that produced them, this book provides a compelling long-term snapshot of a political ideology in transition. It reveals how Irish Republicanism was moulded by the twin forces of the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the violent internal ideological schism that threatened a return to the ‘bad old days’ of the Troubles. This book is vital for those studying Irish politics and those interestedin activism as it provides new insights into the role that modern activist media forms have played in the ideological development of a 200-year-old political tradition.
The campaign to reroute the motorway, which lasted for nigh on a decade, took place against this background. If column inches are indicative of the scale and significance of an issue or event, apart from the development boom itself, the M3 controversy was one of the biggest news items of the period between 1999 and 2009. Even though there were arguments that challenged the rationale for yet another motorway through Meath, the campaign was not about halting the M3 but about redirecting it away from the historic landscape of Tara
, a large, gilt-framed mirror over the cold hearth, reflecting the empty
room and the grinning visage of the occupant – if there is an occupant; for, if
the house is not entirely standing empty on a ghostestate, as often as not the
place of the occupant is filled by a placeholder, a sales agent in the so-called
‘showhouse’. Potential homeowners wander through, pilgrims in the grotto of
commodity fetishism; the shrunken family of one-dimensional man, shades of
our former selves, or more tragically, simulacra of the fully human selves that
we might have become. In
Central Bank and the IMF
imposed severe austerity measures on a nation which had been forced to
bail out banks which had gambled on a housing boom that was, to mix
construction metaphors, built on shifting sand, house prices rocketed as
poverty and homelessness were on a steep upward curve. As the property
boom collapsed, leaving negative equity for many home owners – and,
more significantly, thousands of empty homes, ghostestates, newly developed office and retail space lying vacant, and the spectre of Nama bailing
out the banks and their toxic loans – Sinn Féin was
known locally as ghostestates); the pre-Olympics
public works of London, Athens, and Barcelona; or the infrastructure
developments in Albania and Romania along the natural gas pipelines
of the Black Sea, to mention but a few. During the 1990s and 2000s,
European construction became a huge simultaneous project which
sometimes had tangible physical and material connections (e.g. transEuropean highways or inter-European natural gas pipelines). Such
connections, however, were not always so explicit, as this ethnographic
In terms of political economy, the
‘What rough beast?’ Monsters of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling
capitalism. As Deleuze and Guattari put it, ‘the
only modern myth is the myth of zombies – mortified schizos, good for work’
(Deleuze and Guattari, 1983: 335). McNally (2012) shows how the metaphors
of vampires and zombies are especially useful for grasping and expressing the
monster of the markets in contemporary global capitalism.
Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland is a haunted landscape of ghostestates and
zombie banks cannibalizing the state (Kirby, 2010) but to see the full horror as
Ireland’s night of the living dead unfolds it is important to understand the
collective inheritance so that imaginary debts owed to purported
senior bond-holders are used instead to make real bonds with future generations. The National Assets Management Agency should give stewardship of
empty houses to Threshold, Focus, Simon Community and St Vincent de
FOR A NEW I RELAND
Paul, who would oversee ceremonies and celebrations of the gifting of homes
to individuals and communities. Communities should decide what could be
done with hotels and commercial premises: some ghostestates could become
supported housing and assisted living for
’Brien, R. (2005) ‘Dundrum Centre director unfazed by hype and hope’, The Irish Times , 4 March.
O’Callaghan, C. (2012) ‘GhostEstates: spaces and spectres of Ireland after NAMA’, in C. Crowley and D. Linehan (eds) Spacing Ireland: Place, Society and Culture After the Crash , Manchester: Manchester University Press, 17–31.
O’Callaghan, C., and Linehan, D. (2007) ‘Identity, politics and conflict on dockland development in Cork, Ireland: European Capital of Culture 2005’, Cities, 24(4): 311–23.
O’Toole, S. (2006) ‘Architecture: reclaiming the