NUI Galway lecturer publishes new book Green Nation

Monday, 3 July 2006

The Irish Environmental Movement - from Carnsore Point to the Rossport Five

This week sees the publication of 'Green Nation: Irish Environmental Movement from Carnsore Point to the Rossport Five , by Dr. Liam Leonard, the Galway-based writer and lecturer in Environmental Politics and Social Movements at NUI Galway. Green Nation examines community-based campaigns over the past thirty years that have become the basis for Ireland's grassroots environmental movement.

Starting with the 'No Nukes' protests at Carnsore in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Green Nation traces the emergence of a nascent ecopopulist movement that has witnessed a number of campaigns including anti-mining protests at Tynagh, Donegal and Croagh Patrick, anti-toxics activism in Cork and the heritage dispute at Mullaghmore. The book also looks at the campaigns against incineration in Galway, Meath and Cork, the anti-roads protests at the Glen of the Downs, Carrickmines and Tara/Skryne and the ongoing campaign of 'Shell to Sea' in Mayo which gave rise to the 'Rossport 5', who were imprisoned for seeking justice for their community in North Mayo.

Green Nation examines the mobilisation and agenda setting undertaken in these disputes, locating them in the context of a wider rural identity that has shaped grassroots environmentalism in Ireland.

According to Green Nation's author Dr. Liam Leonard, Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway, "Ireland's recent social history has been characterised by a series of environmentally based community challenges. Throughout the decades of state-sponsored, multinational-led development and infrastructural expansion in Ireland, the voice of the grassroots environmentalist has always been heard. Local communities have proven themselves to be adept at mobilising responses, framing arguments and establishing the networks and alliances that become possible in a populist society."

Green Nation addresses a relative gap in literature about environmentally based community social movements which have emerged since the 1970s. These campaigns have been primarily rural, with campaigns in cities such as Cork and Galway still retaining a rural perspective as local communities came to identify themselves with the surrounding hinterlands in the face of modernisation. The book is available from www.choicepublishing.ie. Title: Green Nation: The Irish Environmental Movement from Carnsore Point to the Rossport 5 Author: Liam Leonard Publisher: Choice Publishing, Drogheda ISBN: 1-905451-11-3

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