Monday 20 February 2017

James Hamilton: So what does it mean to be Irish in 2013?

James Hamilton

Published 04/05/2013 | 17:00

New rules and warning systems have been put in place at EU level to avoid future public finances crises in member states
New rules and warning systems have been put in place at EU level to avoid future public finances crises in member states

WHEN I was asked to be guest director of this year's Burren Law School I began thinking about the changes which have taken place in Irish society during my lifetime, as well as the challenges facing us in the future and changes which are likely to happen in the next 50 years.

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Our membership of the European Community, which we joined 40 years ago, has transformed the country generating prosperity and bringing about profound changes in the way we see ourselves. I am old enough to remember a time when Irish people tended to look at Ireland in relation to England all the time, leading on the one hand to exaggerated pride and in some cases to an inferiority complex.

Suddenly we found ourselves one of a number of nations where we all had a voice, and not just the poor cousin of the bigger next-door neighbour. The transformation in the national psyche was remarkable.

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