Oct 4th, 2012 by Conor McCabe
I’m doing up a piece on Gombeenism for Rabble at the moment and am re-reading this article as part of it.
In it, Higgins and Gibbon explain quite clearly the class nature of farm size and cattle production in Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth century. I use a graph of this system in talks I give on the development of the Irish economy (as above), and just thought it’d be good to post the article by Higgins/Gibbons from 1982 as it kind of highlights how economic class relations in Ireland was once part of the historical debate. Can’t really say that’s the case now, as class today is used as a euphemism for poverty - it’s seen in social status terms not as something embodied within the actual laws of the State.
In Ireland’s case, with independence the class of grazier-shopkeepers are part of the legislative class and - no surprise - they legislate in their interests.