Kieran Allen


Is southern Ireland a neo-colony?


Kieran Allen: Is southern Ireland a neo-colony?, Bookmarks, Dublin 1990
Copyright © 1990 Bookmarks and Kieran Allen
Transcribed and marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for REDS – Die Roten.

Today at the beginning of the new century with all the talk of the Celtic Tiger it’s often hard to remember that until a few years ago southern Ireland was one of the poorer members of the European Union. After seven decades of national independence Ireland still hadn’t managed to achieve any sustainable development. Government ministers actually advised young people to emigrate if they wanted to have a secure future!

This led to ferocious debates about the reasons for Ireland’s economic backwardness. One of the most popular theories was that Ireland was underdeveloped because while the North remained under direct political rule of Britain the South was a British neo-colony. This argument was usually then used by nationalists and republicans to justify prioritising the national struggle over the class struggle.

This pamphlet was an intervention in this debate. It argued against this orthodoxy by showing that describing the South as a neo-colony didn’t actually fit the real economic and political relationship between the Irish, British and world economies.



Last updated on 6.3.2002