The Environmental Movement in Ireland

  • Liam Leonard

About this book


Collective responses to Ireland’s dramatic transformation from a primarily agrarian and rural society to an industrialised economy obsessed by rapid growth and development occurred in two phases:

Phase One took place between the "No Nukes" protests of the late 1970’s when campaigns targeted multinational plants or infrastructural projects perceived as a pollution threat during years of economic stagnation.

Phase Two occurred after economic buoyancy was achieved, as the demands of rapid growth threatened communities, the environment and Irish heritage in the face of major infrastructural projects such as roads, incinerators and gas pipelines.

Starting with the Woodquay protests in Dublin, the "No Nukes" protests at Carnsore Point, the "Shell to Sea" campaign in Mayo and the campaign to save Tara from destruction, these significant ecological campaigns, based on the community’s localised sense of place or rural sentiment, have formed the response to these challenges which are analysed here using social movement theories such as resource mobilisation, political opportunity, framing and event analysis.


Environmental Politics Ireland Irish heritage environmental movement environmental protection environmental theory rural sentiment social movements

Authors and affiliations

  • Liam Leonard
    • 1
  1. 1.National University of IrelandIreland

Bibliographic information