, inextricably linked
to economics in that it operates in the public sphere exclusively as a
business. Restaurants, hotels, bars and wine stores all exist with profit
as their ultimate motivator. In fact, Peillon discusses the tensions that
exist between culture and economic capital in Ireland and suggests that
the inimical relationship between the two is not something new in this
country (Peillon 2002, pp. 40–41). He cites Hutchinson and Kane, both
of whom intimate that, in various spheres of 1970s Ireland, culture was
seen to impede economic progress in some way. But it is
Opinion columns and pseudo-scientific articles exploring immigration and
integration are now the primary channels for overt racism in the Irish
media, and their proliferation prompts a necessary exploration of their
established form and growing influence. A range of columnists regularly
vilify Muslims, Roma and Travellers, particularly drawing on ideas of
barbarism, cultural genocide and population control, and defiantly testing
the legal limits of incitement to hatred. Constructions of Irish culture as
monolithic in the face of an immigration regime which imports failed
multiculturalism and racism necessarily position migrants as continuing
outsiders and the creators of their own exclusion. Clear connections can be
made between racist discourses in Irish media and violence against migrants
and ethnic minorities. This chapter explores how Irish media outlets are
facilitating and promoting the normalisation of racist discourses, and the
implications of this for the construction of debates which take seriously
the challenges of integration in practice and in the context of growing
boardrooms. It was about the body, not the body politic.
Masturbation was a much more serious sin than tax evasion. In a mindset
where homosexuality was a much worse sin than cooking the books, it was
okay to be bent as long as you were straight. (O’Toole 2009, p. 183)
As Irishculture became fixated on the pursuit of material wealth at
all costs, there was a move away from the religious ‘habitus’ that had
held sway for a number of centuries. In the words of the sociologist Tom
Inglis, Ireland went from a culture of self-denial to one of self-indulgence
(Inglis 2006, pp
Laffan, The Resurrection of Ireland: The Sinn Féin Party, 1916–1923 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
3 Timothy W. Guinnane, The Vanishing Irish: Households, Migration, and the Rural Economy in Ireland, 1850–1914 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997).
4 Tara Stubbs, American Literature and IrishCulture, 1910–55 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013).
5 Giovanni Federico, Feeding the World: An Economic History of Agriculture, 1800–2000 (Princeton: Princeton
faulty foundations and tended
to benefit the rich more than the poor. Kirby, Gibbons and Cronin produced a compelling critique of what they viewed as the dominant neo-
liberal approach to economics that encouraged people to believe that
Ireland had never had it so good, that the country had a rosy future and
that full employment and increased wealth would continue. Reinventing
Ireland: Culture, Society and the Global Economy (2002) remains one
of the best interrogations of the comfortable consensus that developed
between government, the media and business interests
virtually a home movie, that won an Academy Award) echoed its own
rags-to-riches narrative (Hardiman 2011).
Such tensions – between participation in global filmmaking practices
and global capital, and acknowledgement, even celebration, of the specificities of Irishculture – also inform the most popular genre to emerge
during the Celtic Tiger era – the crime/caper movie. The gangster film
has long provided a lens through which to examine issues of class and
social mobility in the contemporary city – as Robert Warshow writes in
his classic 1948 examination of the genre
recognition of Irish nationhood, whatever its
form, was supported with a narrative that placed Ireland in an international sphere, i.e. outside the realm of the British empire and prior to the
‘Anglicisation’ of Ireland. One of the most common myths used to emphasise both Ireland’s historical role in Europe and the ‘civilised’ nature of Irishculture was that of Ireland’s role in dispelling the ‘Dark Ages’ in Europe:
Erin was a veritable hive of learning, European scholars flocking to her
shores to receive food, education, shelter – all gratis. Learning, which had
retreated from this idea because ‘in the
Irishculture it was such a foreign concept’. Instead, as Strang acknowledges, in
Ireland ‘people generally want a garden or a yard’.44 In 1967 the Craigavon New
City report acceded to this cultural preference, with the plan now promoting
the establishment of a ‘Rural City’ – one that would be driven towards ‘the
establishment of village communities’ and ‘the close inter-relationship of urban
and rural elements’.45
As a defining feature of this bucolic urbanism was a rejection of the foreign
and a loyalty to what Strang has termed
again. When the country was religious, they were religious: when the
country ceased to be religious, they happily ceased to be religious – with a
great sense of relief on the half of those erstwhile penitents. Now they felt
they had nothing to be penitent about. My doubts lingered on. (Costello
2012, pp. 35–36)
Costello describes well the conformity that characterizes Stage 3 faith.
Significant changes in Irishculture led to adjustments in the behaviour and loyalties of people whose faith development had remained at
Fowler suggests that there are a number
Quarterly, 95:1, pp. 23–44.
Gibbons, Luke (2001) ‘“Subtilized into Savages”: Edmund Burke, Progress and
Primitivism’, South Atlantic Quarterly, 100:1, pp. 83–109.
Gibbons, Luke (2006) Edmund Burke and Ireland: Aesthetics, Politics, and the
Colonial Sublime, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gibbons, Luke (2010) ‘Words upon the Windowpane: Image, Text and IrishCulture’, in Elkins, J. (ed.), Visual Cultures, Bristol: Intellect, pp. 43–56.
Harvey, David (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the
Origins of Cultural Change, Oxford: Blackwell.