This book traces a number of common themes relating to the representation of Irish Travellers in Irish popular tradition and how these themes have impacted on Ireland's collective imagination. A particular focus of the book is on the exploration of the Traveller as ‘Other’, an ‘Other’ who is perceived as both inside and outside Ireland's collective ideation. Frequently constructed as a group whose cultural tenets are in a dichotomous opposition to those of the ‘settled’ community, the book demonstrates the ambivalence and complexity of the Irish Traveller ‘Other’ in the context of a European postcolonial country. Not only have the construction and representation of Travellers always been less stable and ‘fixed’ than previously supposed, these images have been acted upon and changed by both the Traveller and non-Traveller communities as the situation has demanded. Drawing primarily on little-explored Irish language sources, the book demonstrates the fluidity of what is often assumed as reified or ‘fixed’. As evidenced in Irish-language cultural sources, the image of the Traveller is inextricably linked with the very concept of Irish identity itself. They are simultaneously the same and ‘Other’, and frequently function as exemplars of the hegemony of native Irish culture as set against colonial traditions.
Travellers in the text
Mícheál Ó hAodha
Print, reading and social change in early modern Ireland
Traditionally our understanding of that world has been filtered through the lenses of war, plantation and colonisation. This book explores the lives of people living in early modern Ireland through the books and printed ephemera which they bought, borrowed or stole from others. In economic terms, the technology of print was of limited significance in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Ireland, employing no more than a handful of individuals on a full-time basis. It uses the perspective of the world of print as a vantage point from which to observe the shifts in early modern Irish society. To do this it exploits two important attributes of print. First, the printed word had a material form and hence by examining how it was created, traded and owned as a commodity it is possible to chart some of the economic changes that took place in early modern Ireland as a traditional exchange economy gave way to a more commercial one. The second important attribute of print was that it had the potential to transmit ideas. The book discusses the social context of print, its social meaning, and with what contemporaries thought of the material and intellectual commodity that printing with movable type brought to Ireland. It also attempts to construct how contemporaries used the books they had bought, borrowed, stolen or heard others read aloud. The efforts of booksellers and others ensured that contemporaries had a range of books to which they could to turn for profit and pleasure according to their needs.
The co-operative movement, development and the nation-state, 1889–1939
Civilising Rural Ireland examines how modern Ireland emerged out of the social and economic transformation prompted by the rural co-operative movement. The movement emerged in response to systemic economic problems that arose throughout the nineteenth century and coincided with a wide-ranging project of cultural nationalism. Within a short space of time the co-operative movement established a swathe of creameries, agricultural societies and credit societies, leading to a radical reorganisation of rural Ireland and helping to create a distinctive Irish political economy. The work of overlooked co-operative experts is critically examined for the first time and reinserted into the process of state development. The interventions of these organisers, intellectuals and farmers built up key institutions that shaped everyday life across rural communities. The movement weathered war and revolution, to become an indispensable part of an Irish state infrastructure after independence in 1922. The strained relationship and economic rivalry that developed between Irish and British co-operators is also explored in order to illuminate the changing relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom from an economic perspective. Civilising Rural Ireland will appeal to a wide audience interested in modern Irish history and readers are introduced to an eclectic range of personalities who shared an interest in co-operation and whose actions possessed important consequences for the way Ireland developed. The creative use of local and national sources, many of which are examined for the first time, mean the book offers a new perspective on an important period in the making of modern Ireland.
The everyday lives of African migrants
Mark Maguire and Fiona Murphy
During the past fifteen years, many thousands of people have passed through the Irish asylum system, especially migrants from Africa. Public debates in Ireland, in common with other EU Member States, have been framed by ‘integration’ discourse. However, not enough is known about lived experiences of integration, especially among former asylum seekers and their families. This book builds on several years of in-depth ethnographic research to provide a striking portrait of the integration experiences of African migrants in Dundalk, Drogheda and Dublin. The book draws on contemporary anthropological theory to explore labour integration, civic and political participation, religion, education and youth identity. The stories of several key research participants are threaded through the book. The book draws out the rich voices of African migrants who struggle in their everyday lives to overcome racism and exclusion and, yet, are producing new cultural formations and generating reasons for societal hope. Set against the backdrop of a severe economic crisis and the ever-present hand of neo-liberal policies, this book is about everyday struggles and new visions for the future.
Language, immigration and consequences for justice
For the uninitiated, the Irish District Court is a place of incomprehensible, organised chaos. This detailed account of the court’s criminal proceedings, based on an original study that involved observing hundreds of cases, aims to demystify the mayhem and provide the reader with descriptions of language, participant discourse and procedure in criminal cases. The book also captures an important change in the District Court: the advent of the immigrant or the Limited-English-proficient (LEP) defendant. It traces the rise of these defendants and explores the issues involved in ensuring access to justice across languages. It also provides an original description of LEP defendants and interpreters in District Court proceedings, ultimately considering how they have altered the District Court as an institution and how the characteristics of the District Court affect the ability of limited English proficient defendants to access justice at this level of the Irish courts system.
Society, economy and environment, c. 1300–1650
Victoria L. McAlister
Tower houses are the ubiquitous building of pre-modern Ireland. A type of castle, the tower house was constructed c.1350–1650, and extant examples number in the thousands. This book examines the social role of the tower house in late medieval and early modern Ireland. It uses a multidisciplinary methodology to uncover the lived experience of a wide range of people. This enables exploration of the castle’s context, including how it was used as a social tool and in environmental exploitation for economic gain. By challenging traditional interpretations of the Middle Ages we find new evidence for the agency of previously overlooked individuals, and thus a new insight into the transition from medieval to modern. Each chapter in the book builds on the one preceding, to echo the movement of trade good from environmental exploitation to entry into global economic networks, keeping focus on the role of the tower house in facilitating each step. By progressively broadening the scope, the conclusion is reached that the tower house can be used as a medium for analysing the impact of global trends at the local level. It accomplishes this lofty goal by combining archival evidence with archaeological fieldwork and on-site survey to present a fresh perspective on one of the best-known manifestations of Irish archaeology.
The immigrant in contemporary Irish literature
Edited by: Pilar Villar-Argáiz
Literary Visions of Multicultural Ireland is the first full-length monograph in the market to address the impact that Celtic-Tiger immigration has exerted on the poetry, drama and fiction of contemporary Irish writers. The book opens with a lively, challenging preface by Prof. Declan Kiberd and is followed by 18 essays by leading and prestigious scholars in the field of Irish studies from both sides of the Atlantic who address, in pioneering, differing and thus enriching ways, the emerging multiethnic character of Irish literature. Key areas of discussion are: What does it mean to be ‘multicultural,’ and what are the implications of this condition for contemporary Irish writers? How has literature in Ireland responded to inward migration? Have Irish writers reflected in their work (either explicitly or implicitly) the existence of migrant communities in Ireland? If so, are elements of Irish traditional culture and community maintained or transformed? What is the social and political efficacy of these intercultural artistic visions? While these issues have received sustained academic attention in literary contexts with longer traditions of migration, they have yet to be extensively addressed in Ireland today. The collection will thus be of interest to students and academics of contemporary literature as well as the general reader willing to learn more about Ireland and Irish culture. Overall, this book will become most useful to scholars working in Irish studies, contemporary Irish literature, multiculturalism, migration, globalisation and transculturality. Writers discussed include Hugo Hamilton, Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Dermot Bolger, Chris Binchy, Michael O'Loughlin, Emer Martin, and Kate O'Riordan, amongst others.
Place, society and culture in a post-boom era
Edited by: Caroline Crowley and Denis Linehan
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.
Contexts and reactions
Edited by: Micheál Ó Siochrú and Jane Ohlmeyer
The 1641 rebellion is one of the seminal events in early modern Irish and British history. The 1641 'massacres', like the battles at the Boyne (1690) and Somme (1916), played a key role in creating and sustaining a collective Protestant/ British identity in Ulster, in much the same way that the subsequent Cromwellian conquest in the 1650s helped forge a new Irish Catholic national identity. This book illustrates the role that cartography and geography can play in understanding and contextualising the 1641 rising/rebellion. During the Irish wars of the 1590s, printed news on the continent about developments in Ireland emanated from the Roman press of Bernandino Beccari. Barcelona publications indicate a strong interest in Irish events at a time ironically when Irish regiments in the service of Spain were heavily involved in the attempted suppression of their revolt. The book also answers few questions with reference to the survivors of the sacks of the Dutch Revolt. The history of sectarian conflict in the French wars of religion has focused more on the targets of violence, animate and inanimate, than on its vocal manifestations. The Irish exiles in the Spanish Monarchy were extremely active in the years prior to 1641. Connecting the Hispanic dimension of events in 1641 and the birth of an Irish 'Black Legend' comparable to the classical 'Spanish Black Legend' required the reflection on the meaning of violence.
The official redefinition of the island of Ireland
How has it been possible for Irish political leaders to not just accept but actively promote two of the largest challenges to Irish nation-statehood: the concession of sovereignty to the European Union (EU) and the retraction of the constitutional claim over Northern Ireland? This book argues that, rather than indicating a pragmatic retreat, such decisions (and their justification on the public stage) reveal the unique power and enduring relevance of nationalism to Irish and European politics today. As a detailed study of official discourse in twentieth-century Ireland, it traces the ways in which nationalism can be simultaneously redefined and revitalised through European integration. The text moves from an overview of the origins and development of Irish official nationalism to analyse the connections between its response to profound internal and external challenges to Irish nation-statehood. The genius of the Irish approach to such challenges has been to employ innovative EU-inspired concepts in finding agreement with and within Northern Ireland, whilst simultaneously legitimising further European integration on the grounds that it fulfils traditional nationalist ideals. Thus, Irish political leaders have been successful in not only accommodating potent nationalist and pro-European discourses, but in making them appear complementary. The book concludes with an assessment of likely changes in this symbiotic relationship in the post-EU enlargement, post-Celtic Tiger era.