The Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape 2nd edition was the only Irish published book to be listed in the top 15 non-fiction Irish Times books of the year. Citation reads: Revised, expanded and now with an index, this major book is as important as ever in the ongoing battle to protect Ireland’s besieged environment as it faces huge dangers from the waste-processing industry.
The trouble with chardonnay conservationists, and other books ANOTHER LIFE WHEN ITS first, majestic edition appeared, 14 years ago, I described it as an atlas with attitude – this from its weighty protest against the vandalising of the Irish countryside, already well in progress. Digesting the subsequent horrors of the Tiger years, the second edition of the Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape (Cork University Press, €59) verges at times on apoplexy. It rails against “sclerotic engineer-run” local authorities, the failures of “chardonnay conservationists” and planners who “presided over an appalling collapse of landscape quality”. But Prof Kevin Whelan, Ireland’s most acute and passionate rural historian, does more than let off steam. His essay at the heart of the new edition urges a long-overdue reorganisation of public life, swelling upwards from parish and townland. He also offers a vision for rural landscape and society, led by rediscovering “Deep Ireland”. Philosophically, this “represents seasonal, ritual, communal time rather than biographical individual time”.
More simply it exhorts “renewed respect for the local, the vernacular, the traditional and the distinctive”, not least the spirit that moves within the GAA and the local Tidy Towns committee. As a geographer with a strong economic awareness, Whelan delves into options that make much timely sense, among them more powerful marketing of artisan food to Europe from a “clean, green” Ireland embodied in the image of the traditional family farm.
Our landscape, he says, has been surprisingly forgiving of recent excesses, and as we now have enough new buildings for the next generation the challenge is to “restore and reuse”. But the drive towards a living, characterful landscape, with room for both nature and a human right to roam, will have to find its spark locally – “dragooning, compulsion and adversarial relations with local communities simply do not work.”
All of which eminently fits this great book for the bedside table (plus supportive beanbag) of our new President, whose aspirations to the ideal and those of Whelan are clearly in close accord. With renewal of at least a third of its content, fresh regional case studies from new young geographers, and even more abundant and revelatory maps and photographs, it is also a definitive synthesis of the countryside, its habitats and its history that belongs in every Irish home and school. The first edition, also edited by Whelan, with the geographer Prof Fred Aalen and the cartographer Dr Mathew Stour, sold more than 21,000 copies. The second edition deserves to do quite as well.
"Irish Blood, English Heart" ISBN 9781859184905 has just won the Hot Press Annual (out today) Music Book of the Year. Last week it won the Sunday Times Music Book of the Year.
Cambridge lecturer Sean Campbell previously co-wrote Beautiful Day, an analysis of Irish rock over the past 40 years. In Irish Blood English Heart, he examines the impact made on English music by Kevin Rowland, Shane MacGowan and Morrissey. All have credited their Irish backgrounds with influencing their music. Along with exploring the mordant wit and powerfully expressive lyrics that characterise the work of these artists, Campbell also reveals some truly gobsmacking stories, including that Morrissey’s anti-Thatcherite politics compelled An Phoblacht to publish a mid-’80s editorial praising The Smiths, thus forging a highly improbable link between republicanism and early alt-rock-Hot Press Magazine.
John A Murphy Emeritus Professor of Irish History UCC will launch Rugby in Munster: A Social and Cultural History on Wednesday December 7th at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork.
Since the turn of the twenty-first century rugby football in Munster has seen extraordinary growth in terms of popularity and cultural significance. The Munster rugby team in particular has become a hugely important provincial institution through which regional identity has been expressed on the international stage. This book will detail and analyse the game’s evolution in Munster from its origins in the 1870s through to the dawn of the professional era in the 2000s.-Rugby in Munster: A Social and Cultural History by Liam O’Callaghan (Cork University Press, ISBN 978 185918 480 6, hbk, 286pp, 234 x 156mm, €39/£35).
This study is the first book-length academic treatment of rugby football in Ireland. Covering the period from the game’s origins in Ireland in the 1870s through to the onset of professional rugby in the twenty-first century, this book seeks to examine Munster rugby within the context of broader social, cultural and political trends in Irish society. As well as providing a thorough chronological survey of the game’s development, key themes such as violence, masculinity, class and politics are subject to more detailed treatment
Focusing mainly on the game’s two centres of popularity in Limerick and Cork cities, this book will display how contrary to popular myth, rugby football rarely expressed any kind of unitary, coherent identity throughout the province. The game was centred on clubs and was highly adaptable to local conditions throughout its history. In addition, the often fractious internal politics of the game within the province, reflecting the game’s contrasting social development in Limerick and Cork, will also be discussed. Drawing on the unpublished records of the game’s provincial and national administrative bodies and a comprehensive survey of the provincial press, this book will show how one sport served multifarious roles in terms of class, culture and politics in Munster.
This book offers an Ethical Framework for end-of-life decision making in healthcare settings. The Framework, consisting of eight Modules of Learning,is a set of educational resources for health professionals, allied professionals, healthcare ethics and law lecturers and students. It aims to foster and support ethically and legally sound clinical practice in end-of-life treatment and care in Ireland.
The Framework is the outcome of a unique collaboration between University College Cork, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Irish Hospice Foundation and has benefitted from consultation with ethicists, legal experts, theologians, sociologists and clinicians. It draws on a range of values and principles that have been identified as important considerations in end-of-life decision making by international experts in bioethics and by professional codes of conduct, policy documents and laws. It is also informed by extensive national and international research on patients’ and families’ experiences of death and dying and the contribution of health professionals and organizations to quality end-of-life care.
The educational aim of the Framework is not to tell people what to do, but to offer tools for thinking about difficult ethical and legal issues that arise in relation to death and dying. The objective is to foster a range of ethical skills and competencies to ensure that decisions are arrived at in the most reasonable, sensitive and collaborative way possible. Readers are introduced to the process of ethical reasoning and resolution through interactive learning and reflection on case studies drawn from practice in clinical settings in Ireland and elsewhere. These bring into sharper focus the need for sensitivity to the unique stories and circumstances of individual patients and their families.
The Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape 2nd edition is now published. The first edition was published in 1997 and went on to sell over 22 000 copies. This new edition contains at least one-third of new content including 500 new maps and photographs. The contemporary section has been completely rewritten to take account of the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger.
The Atlas of Irish Rural Landscape is a highly illustrated large format book and has a pioneering introduction to the hidden riches of the Irish landscape. Topics include archaeology, field and settlement patterns, houses, demesnes, villages and small towns, monuments, woodland, bogs, roads, canals, railways, mills, mines, farmsteads, handball alleys, and a host of other features. The Atlas combines superbly chosen illustrations and cartography with a text amenable to a general reader. Hundreds of maps, diagrams, photographs, paintings allow the Atlas to present a mass of scholarly information in an accessible way, suitable for any school, college or home. The Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape also has a significant practical dimension. It increases the visibility of the landscape within national heritage and establishes a proper basis for conservation and planning. It explores contemporary changes resulting from the Celtic Tiger, and proposes how to implement necessary change in sympathy with inherited landscape character.
F.H.A. Aalen is Emeritus Professor of Geography at Trinity College Dublin, Kevin Whelan is Director of the Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre in Dublin and Matthew Stout is a lecturer in the Department of History, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra.