Reflections on the Irish State: Ireland since Independence


Garret FitzGerald

This book, written by former Taoiseach and leader of the Fine Gael, explores the current political, economic and social changes in Ireland and addresses the economic impact of Ireland’s demographic change and the rising standard of living. It also examines what the future holds for the Republic and the North.

ISBN: 9780716527756 Categories: ,


In recent years Ireland has experienced rapid change, economically, politically, socially and constitutionally, yet until now there has been no sustained multi-disciplinary study of these critically inter-linked spheres. In this new groundbreaking book, written for the non-specialist reader, former Taoiseach Dr Garret FitzGerald reflects on the fundamental changes that have occurred and on their far-reaching consequences.

Examining the forces that have drawn almost all Irish political parties to a common centre, the book questions the rationale and relevance of the current party political structure, and delves into the ever controversial area of ethics in politics.

In the economic sphere the book discusses, among other issues, the profound impact of demographic change on Ireland’s economic performance, and considers the social and psychological consequences of the rapid rise in average living standards, as well as the problem of reconciling a low tax regime with infra-structural improvement and fairer income distribution.

The book also touches on the decline of religion as a moral force with the radicalisation of traditional society, and gives detailed consideration to the shifting ground occupied by Irish Nationalism in the era of the Belfast Agreement, the political rise of Sinn Féin, and growing European integration.

Dr FitzGerald’s humanity, wit and erudition have come together here to produce a classic.

About the author

Garret FitzGerald (9 February 1926 – 19 May 2011) was an Irish politician who was twice Taoiseach of Ireland, serving in office from July 1981 to February 1982 and again from December 1982 to March 1987. FitzGerald was elected to the Seanad Éireann in 1965 and was subsequently elected to the Dáil as a Fine Gael TD in 1969. He served as Foreign Affairs Minister from 1973 to 1977. He was the leader of Fine Gael between 1977 and 1987.