An Irish Village

Friday, March 04, 2011

Made it! Now for the next book...

My thesis on Dunlavin is finished and I was awarded a doctorate by DCU in November. I am currently modifying the thesis and should have a book to publish later this year (2011), so watch this space!
This book will trace the history of the village community of Dunlavin in west Wicklow over many centuries. The Dunlavin region straddles both counties Wicklow and Kildare. A lengthy prologue will treat of the early history of the Dunlavin area. The main study follows the evolution of the village in its regional setting, examining the long and formative impact of Anglophone settlers during the era of ‘Protestant Ascendancy’, positing a model, possibly applicable nationally, of their rise in the seventeenth century, through their zenith in the eighteenth, to their decline in the nineteenth, and replacement by the emerging Catholic interest in the twentieth.
Sir Richard Bulkeley erected the new village of Dunlavin on a greenfield site after the 1641 rebellion. In 1710, Sir James Worth Tynte inherited the village. Tynte and his eighteenth-century successors pursued a model of paternalistic landlordism, but the 1798 rebellion, and the Dunlavin massacre, fractured the relationship between the elite and the masses. The paternalistic model of landlordism failed in the early nineteenth century, and the severe experience of the area during the Great Famine was testament to this. In the post-Famine era, Joseph Pratt Tynte never regained the levels of deference he and his fellow landlords had previously enjoyed. Tynte’s influence was challenged by invigorated nationalism and resurgent Catholicism. The Catholic middle class took control of local politics, and Dunlavin entered the twentieth century with middle-class Catholicism in the ascendancy. The irreversible eclipse of the elite was already advanced, and the process was completed during the twentieth century. A lengthy epilogue will treat of Dunlavin's history during the past century, 1910-2010. This study locates the Dunlavin region in the larger tapestry of Irish history. Dunlavin’s past is as integral to national history as the past in any other part of the island. This case study illuminates an individual section of a complex network of past local experiences, and reveals one part of the range of past behaviours in Ireland.