Most Irish people agree on two things: that they're supposed to live in a republic and that they don't. As the Republic of Ireland approaches the centenary of its declaration in 1916, it has never seemed quite so far away.
Many people are now asking whether Ireland has ever been a republic, in the true sense. This is a book in which the biggest questions are addressed with a sense of their terrible urgency.
- Do Irish people really know what a republic is?
- Is there a tradition of republican ideas that can be useful to the task of rebuilding Ireland's shattered democracy?
- How can the political system be reimagined?
- Would a new republic require a new kind of public language?
The contributors also examine the role of the courts: are they defenders of the people's rights or part of the problem? As for the education system, what should schools be teaching citizens of a real republic? Is the Big Society just another excuse for a failed state? And as the super-rich flee for safe havens and racist parties win votes, can Europe find a path between plutocracy on the one side and populism on the other?
They suggest that the idea of a republic can be taken back from those who have abused it - and that it can give hope to a society struggling to move beyond anger and cynicism.
’Thought-provoking...O’Toole has a keen eye for telling historical anecdote’ Paddy Kehoe, RTE
|Publisher||Faber & Faber|
|Publication date||6 Jun 2013|