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Rule Breakers: Why Being There Trumps Being Fair in Ireland

Rule Breakers: Why Being There Trumps Being Fair in Ireland

Niamh Hourigan

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‘Lucid, engaging and persuasive … every politician should read this - and so should every voter’ Colin Murphy, The Guarantee

We have built a nation on a value system that equates ‘being good’ with ‘being there for each other’, although simply keeping the rules is not considered an equivalent form of goodness. As a society we favour ‘minding our own’ over ‘doing what we’re told’.

So far, so Irish.

But, apply this conflict to the economic crash, to Irish Water, or to political cronyism, and we learn how the role of insider intimacy amongst elites, and our weak rules in regulating this intimacy, gets us into trouble. And despite their criticisms of bankers and political elites, the Irish middle classes themselves use favours generated within relationships to get around the rules they encounter.

Niamh Hourigan’s ground-breaking survey paints a picture of the Irish national character, from its colonial history to its current-day dramas. The Ireland that emerges is a country where outcomes are often decided by who rather than what you know, and where – for good or for bad – rules are sometimes made to be broken.

Additional Information

Author Niamh Hourigan
Publisher Gill Books
Publication date 3 Apr 2015
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9780717166206

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