The Environmental Movement in Ireland by Dr. Liam Leonard (auth.)

By Dr. Liam Leonard (auth.)

Collective responses to Ireland’s dramatic transformation from a essentially agrarian and rural society to an industrialised economic climate obsessed through quick progress and improvement happened in levels:

Phase One came about among the "No Nukes" protests of the past due 1970’s while campaigns exact multinational vegetation or infrastructural tasks perceived as a pollutants hazard in the course of years of monetary stagnation.

Phase Two happened after monetary buoyancy used to be completed, because the calls for of speedy progress threatened groups, the surroundings and Irish historical past within the face of significant infrastructural tasks comparable to roads, incinerators and gasoline pipelines.

Starting with the Woodquay protests in Dublin, the "No Nukes" protests at Carnsore aspect, the "Shell to Sea" crusade in Mayo and the crusade to avoid wasting Tara from destruction, those major ecological campaigns, in keeping with the community’s localised experience of position or rural sentiment, have shaped the reaction to those demanding situations that are analysed the following utilizing social stream theories akin to source mobilisation, political chance, framing and occasion analysis.

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Campaigns such as Shell to Sea in Co. Mayo show that communities can become politically motivated by a looming environmental crisis, even if economic or legalistic difficulties or even imprisonment result from their resistance to an industrial polluter. This may not mean that community protest groups are all green political ideologists, but they take on the mantel of environmental activists, at least for the duration of their protest. Theorists have argued that aspects of radical ecologism are disconnected from political reality, claiming that much of what passes for green politics is based on a form of ‘anti-humanism’ which lacks a rational basis (Bookchin 1975).

And I think we pay the price of that. (Cox 1997 35) However, environmental movements remained ‘locally based and relatively small’ (Yearley 1995 53) groups of local residents who formed to combat the perceived threat to their environment (Baker 1990; Tovey 1992b; Yearley 1995) in the decades of pre-Celtic Tiger multinational-led industrialisation. The lack of communication between groups before the rise of the internet remained a problem for Irish environmental movements throughout the 1980s. The isolation experienced by environmental activists led to a lack of ‘sustainability’ in campaign, as ‘burnout’ became a feature of environmental activism (Cox 1997 36).

This allows such ‘program professionals’ to set the ideological agenda of a movement at its inception, creating a type of leadership which differs from the formal settings of established political parties. Middle-class participants contribute to a cause by offering their time or expertise. Networks of potential supporters or activists, some with prior experience, are then activated. A rather different suggestion is that leadership elites may centralise decision-making power and organise movements in a bureaucratic way, in order to increase movement effectiveness.

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