chapter  13
Ireland into the Twenty-First Century
Pages 28

This chapter, despite its title, commences in the 1990s because that decade represented a truly seismic change in the Irish experience. It was a prelude to a new century, a new millennium, and, arguably, a new Ireland. If anyone living in Ireland in 1800 had been somehow able to return there in 1900, he would have found little significant change. Similarly, a resident of rural or urban Ireland in 1955, north or south, would have detected few notable differences with the Ireland of 1925. But the quick and profound shift in economic, sociocultural, political or constitutional, religious, and sectarian developments during this truly transformational era in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland seemed to place all of Irish society in a “fast forward” mode by contrast with the often-laconic pace of yesteryear.