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Critical reflections on the Celtic Tiger

Sexual images and innuendo have become commonplace in contemporary advertising; they often fail to register in any meaningful way with the audience. This book examines the essentially racist stereotypes through which Irish people have conventionally been regarded have been increasingly challenged and even displaced perhaps by a sequence of rather more complimentary perspectives. The various developments that are signified within the figure of the Celtic Tiger might be considered to have radically altered the field of political possibility in Ireland. The enormous cuts in public expenditure that marked this period are held to have established a desirable, stable macroeconomic environment. The Celtic Tiger shows that one can use the rhetoric about 'social solidarity' while actually implementing policies which increase class polarisation. The book discusses the current hegemonic construction of Ireland as an open, cosmopolitan, multicultural, tourist-friendly society. The two central pieces of legislation which currently shape Irish immigration policy are the 1996 Refugee Act and the Immigration Bill of 1999. The book offers a critical examination of the realities of the Celtic Tiger for Irish women. Processes of nation state formation invariably invoke homogeneous narratives of ethnicity and national identity. To invoke a collective subject of contemporary Ireland rhetorically is to make such a strategic utopian political assumption. For the last few hundred years, the Gaeltacht has exemplified the crisis of Irish modernity. Culture becomes capital, and vice versa, while political action increasingly consists of the struggle to maintain democratic autonomy in the face of global market forces.

Open Access (free)
Patrick Doyle

of what characterized the country in the mid-twentieth century was obdurately pre-modern’, and not until 1972, with Ireland's entry into the European Economic Community, were ‘old moulds … broken with apparent decisiveness’. 10 This arrival into the modern era strikes one as rather late and sudden. Joseph Lee views modernisation as a cumulative process that emerged out of nineteenth-century peasant-based society due to slow improvements to farming, combined with concurrent processes of depopulation and infrastructural reform. Lee gauged Irish modernity throughout

in Civilising rural Ireland
Martin Dowling

enlivened and expanded by the peculiar way in which Irish society responded to the dynamics of the age. Traditional music is not the survival of some ancient and timeless manifestation of the essence of Irishness, nor is it the shared symptom of a population mysteriously infected by and obsessed with its own ‘Celtitude’. Rather, it is a modern pursuit that kept time with the dramatic modernisation of Irish society. The trajectory of Irish modernity runs simultaneously with the trajectory of the formation of what we now call ‘Irish traditional music’ as a constellation of

in Are the Irish different?
Bryan Fanning

-building children, living and dead. These are the seeds of permanent nationality and we must sow them deeply in the People’s hearts.22 It was necessary that most such materials, including Davis’s popular ballad, be produced in English. His list did not include the Gaelic language, although its restoration became a central plank of a later phase of cultural nationalism. English remained the language of Irish modernity as well as being one of the main vehicles of Irish cultural nationalism. Whilst nineteenth-century nationalist politics were, as Anne Kane put it, ‘bedevilled by

in Irish adventures in nation-building
Matthew Schultz

Gothic to represent the psychological burden caused by the return of Ireland’s Troubles.8 In Reading in the Dark and No Bones, Deane and Burns both use child narrators who, through Gothic tropes, relate their personal accounts of the Northern Troubles. This common narrative choice highlights recurrent psychological damage caused by transgenerational acts of retributive violence in the North. The contemporary Gothic in Ireland generally serves to shadow the progress of Irish modernity with narratives that expose the underside of postcolonial nationhood – the ongoing

in Haunted historiographies
George Legg

This chapter argues that the Northern Irish New Town Craigavon provides a unique insight into what David Harvey has described as capitalism’s potential for ‘geographical inertia’. Constructed between 1967 and 1977, Craigavon became a geography of boredom not because it embodied a banal (‘placeless’) design but because its infrastructure was developed against the wishes of its attendant population. In this, Craigavon represented a disjunction between fixed and mobile capital, but its fortunes were ruptured further by the political convulsions of the North. Using archival research, the chapter documents how Craigavon’s design conjured memories of Ulster's plantation – a traumatic history which was finding a renewed currency during the Troubles. Victor Sloan’s photography and the Troubles and Joys anthology of Craigavon’s women’s writing group, help to further distil these tensions. Rather than simply visualising sectarian violence, Sloan emphasised how the rigidities of capitalist planning evacuated human relationships from this landscape. Craigavon’s women writers, by contrast, highlighted the politics of co-operation that emerged from a female experience of this geographical ennui. Attending to the contradictions in these processes, this chapter rethinks existing understandings of Irish modernity, particularly in the work of David Lloyd.

in Northern Ireland and the politics of boredom
Ben Tonra

was the socio-economic modernist equivalent of the revisionists’ intellectual turn. As revisionists challenged the historical orthodoxies and began to craft what they saw as a rational picture of the Irish experience,Whittaker and Lemass undertook a fundamental reappraisal of Ireland’s socio-economic direction and undertook to bring modernisation to Ireland. The 1960s have thus become the defining era of Irish modernity with the contemporary Celtic Tiger sitting at the historical apex of Irish modernisation (Connolly 2003). It was the lost decade of the 1980s

in Global citizen and European Republic
Community, language and culture under the Celtic Tiger
Steve Coleman

the preserved cultural remnant of ‘progress’ (see below). From this perspective, the Irish language and its speakers embody a ‘tradition’ which is, at best, eccentric to Irishmodernity’. The Telecom advertisement shows that the modern Irish state still needs indigenous culture to legitimise itself, even while fully embracing the new regime of transnational capital. According to an advertising trade journal: The brief handed down to [the advertising agency] Irish International was straight forward – design a campaign to generate awareness about the flotation and to

in The end of Irish history?
Irish fiction and autobiography since 1990
Liam Harte

jettison tradition completely. What unites these seemingly polarised positions is a view of the past as an agreed-upon fiction. Affluent Irish modernity, the novel suggests, is underpinned by a wilful amnesia and a pernicious effacement of history, traits personified by Seoda Fitzgibbon, the glamorous wife of a corrupt businessman, for whom the perpetual present is the primary ground of personal and socioeconomic success. Her pithy annulment of two centuries of history provides an appropriate endpoint for this brief survey of contemporary Irish fiction and autobiography

in Irish literature since 1990
Abstract only
Street photography, humanism and the loss of innocence
Justin Carville

to accelerate the completion of the project, Ballymun was intended as a symbolic marker of national modernisation and the shift from a rural towards an urban society; precisely the type of social engineering that Fanning identifies as of concern to Catholic sociologists who feared urban modernity’s secularising effect on the routines, habits of expressions of faith and religious norms of everyday Irish life (Fanning 2014: 49). Despite the intention to establish Ballymun as a symbol of mid-​twentieth-​century Irish modernity, however, it has ultimately come to be

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism