From marginality to resurgence: the case of the Irish islands

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    Abstract: The islands off the coast of Ireland declined after the Irish famine of the 1840s. The number inhabited and the size of the population on those that remain populated both fell dramatically, faring worse collectively than the Irish mainland to which they were marginal in every sense. The reasons for this decline are examined. In the early 20th Century there are some signs of resurgence. The article considers that this might be put down to the efforts of islanders themselves, coupled with state and European Union support. There is an interest in and regard for the islands associated with their being seen as repositories of Irish culture and heritage. This has had positive benefits regarding the attitude of the state agencies and also for tourism, which is an important factor in many contemporary island economies. In fact, some of the resurgence as measured by population totals can be put down to people having holiday cottages on the islands rather than an increase in the size of traditional communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-55
    Number of pages14
    Volume2 (2)
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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