Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dublin Walking Tour: North Inner City and Docklands

The main rationale for these tours has been the ongoing work on early childhood conditions in the 20th century in Ireland. This has included work on infant mortality, including Brona NiChobhtaigh's thesis, and work on effects of early conditions on later health, including Mark McGovern's MA Economics thesis and our recent working paper "From Angela's Ashes to the Celtic Tiger ". In the last tour, we went around areas such as the side streets beside St Patrick's Cathedral and also covered Henrietta Street, where some of the most preserved tenements still stand. Pat Liddy did a superb job at conveying just how economically poor some of these areas were, well into the 20th century. The tour tomorrow looks at the areas around Dublin's Docklands, which are particularly interesting as they have seen some of the most dramatic changes in Ireland in the 20th century, with some of the areas making the full transition from extreme poverty to full affluence in the course of 50 years. We are currently in the field with a life reconstruction study in Ireland, meaning that we can observe some of our participants lives as they passed from growing up in such poverty through to the excesses of the Celtic Tiger. Ireland is an interesting country to examine the effects of major policy changes on people's health and well-being, due to the wide fluctuations in economic output over the last 50 years and also due to the fact that dramatic changes in health and education systems took place against a backdrop of relative political stability over most of the 20th century.

I hope that this type of activity continues in some form or another and I welcome suggestions.

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