Monday 16 January 2017

It is no urban myth - Ireland demands different leadership

Our population has become more urban than rural, and so our politics must change radically to reflect this

Conor Skehan

Published 06/11/2016 | 02:30

Ireland rapidly transformed from a rural to an urban society Photo: Depositphotos
Ireland rapidly transformed from a rural to an urban society Photo: Depositphotos

It seems to be academically fashionable to criticise Ireland's achievements since 1916. Critics fall into two camps - those who preach 'could have done better' and those who seek to diminish any achievements as 'same as all the rest'. There may be some truth mixed into these approaches - but some truth is not the whole truth.

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For a start, while a century is a long time on a human scale, three generations is a short time for the institutions of culture and government to develop. In 1963 John F Kennedy described the US as "a young country and an old democracy" - so by his reckoning a nation twice as old as ours is young.

Not only is Ireland young - but during the period since its birth Ireland has experienced one of the most fundamental transformations that any country can experience, namely changing from being a rural to an urban society.

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