Re: Re: A Nation at War with its Capital City?
@Cute Panda wrote:
and urban living and culture in general.
Was just reading David MacWilliams’ piece in the Indo today and you do have to wonder if there has been a political and cultural war against Dublin and urban dwellers in general in this country since the foundation of the state.
Much of it is rooted in Dev-ism, but it is really amazing how after all these years it still goes on. Polticians particulary in the West of Ireland consider Dublin to be a panecea for every problem west of the Shannon. For instance, I recently heard Dr Gerry Crowley MEP blaming the high deaths on the roads in Mayo on poor workmanship on the road repairs in the county. But he then instantly corrected himself by stressing it was not the local Mayo CoCo poor workmanship, but “the Dublin Government”. If one looks in the rural media this kind of political ‘magical thinking’ is repreated constantly. Just blame it all on the “Dublin Government” and make sure all the investment, factories, airports, civil servants is sent to rural regions and Ireland will be a paradise.
The David McWillians article today demonstrated how dangerous this anti-urbaism is for the health and well being of nations. From Uraguary to China to Ireland it hasn’t worked anywhere in fact – it has failed appallingly. Cities move nations forward, always have and always will.
I would go as far as saying that the 70 years of neglect, and at times, outright contempt for our nation’s capital was mirrored nationally by the decades of both urban and rural poverty as well as social, economic and cultural (it was Thin Lizzy, The Boomtown Rats, U2 who put Ireland on the global musical map and not Big Tom, Margo and Brendan Boyer) stagnation which all of Ireland experienced experience between 1930 and 1990. The “fair maidens dancing” didn’t deliver for any of the Irish people and the disturbing thing is the “crossroads” is still top of the Irish political agenda when one considers millions being spent on the Western Rail Corridor which will carry no more than 700 passengers a day being just as much a core element of Transport 21 as Metro North. Transport21 delivered a rail service to Ardrahan, a village in rural Galway, but at the same time did not consider 200 extra buses for Dublin Bus. Sadly the “crossroads” still matters as much as O’Connell Street, if not more among the Irish political establishment in the 21st century. The amazing thing is that you would find thousands of people standing at bus stops in Dublin in the rain who would see no problem with the WRC being reopened and Dublin Bus not getting badly needed buses. It’s almost a form of national brainwashing when you think about, so culturally entrenched is this Rural = “glorious”, Urban = “un-Irish” mindset.
I am not anti-rural, in fact I think maintaining a healthy unspolit rural countryside rather than a giant one-off “Parlon Country” suburb is just as important as developing our cities.
Double the population of Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway and to hell with the factory and civil service department in every village mentality. It’s a potential scenario for national destruction AFAIC – especially it the Celtic Tiger tapers off which it will eventually.
I agree totally. Frank McDonald hilighted this contempt of Dublin city by rural folk in his book the Destruction of Dublin, hilighting the appaling and ignorant attitude of the culchie TD’s attitudes toward the history and fabric of the city and urban living. Hence, Dublin’s drastic demise and destruction over the decades after independence. This contemptous attitude can be found in the rural folk (not all) who have come to Dublin to live and work and enjoy the amenities etc…. yet incessantly complain of the natives, labeling all as skangers, yet they themselves adopting the attitudes and trappings of a D4 accent and the cafe latte society.