Dublin jeers at rural Ireland fall flat
It is strange that they have such a remarkably simplistic view of rural Ireland. The greatest practitioner of Irish gombeen politics was the Dubliner, Charlie Haughey. And of course, many rural people want to see Irish politics move beyond the civil war too.
In saying “urbanisation is unstoppable, and it’s where future votes and voters are” they are completely missing the cultural mood, and the effect of new technology and infrastructure. The recession has put in to focus the important things in life: family, nature, community. This trend toward an increased emphasis on quality of life was already underway pre-recession, evidenced by the popularity of television programmes like “Escape to the Country” and “River Cottage.”
People have seen through the lies of the rat race: there is no joy in hours of commuting from cramped accommodation to an office cubicle. This is not the future the Irish people will choose. Modern workplace trends increasingly support telecommuting and part-time work, many firms want to relocate to less congested, cheaper areas. Ireland’s new motorways and the reopening of old railway routes means that once remote parts of Ireland are now much closer to ports airports and main cities than ever in history.
I’m fond of dear auld Dublin and find it a great place to visit, but it mightn’t be so nice if, as authors predict, it rises in population to “nearly 2½ million people in the next 15 years."
Given current levels of emigration that seems very unlikely, but if it does become such a megalopolis, it will not suddenly transmutate in to Paris or NYC, but will more likely resemble the dull sprawling gray suburbia of the Birmingham conurbation, except with quasi-American accents. All of which will only make people all the more keen to escape and move to Kerry.
The future’s bright, the future’s rural.