Tuairim, intellectual debate and policy formulation: Rethinking Ireland, 1954–75

By Tomas Finn

Tuairim, intellectual debate and policy formulation: Rethinking Ireland, 1954–75


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8525-3
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £70.00
  • Published Date: August 2012
  • BIC Category: Humanities / British & Irish history, History, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, European history, Ireland


The 1950s and 1960s were a transformative phase in modern Irish history. In these years, a conservative society dominated by the Catholic Church, and a state which was inward-looking and distrustful of novelty, gradually opened up to fresh ideas. This book considers this change. It explores how the intellectual movement Tuairim ('opinion' in Irish), was at the vanguard of the challenge to orthodoxy and conservatism.

Tuairim contributed to debates on issues as diverse as Northern Ireland, the economy, politics, education, childcare and censorship. The society established branches throughout Ireland, including Belfast, and in London. It produced frequent critical publications and boasted a membership that included the future Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald. Tuairim occupied a unique position within contemporary debates on Ireland's present and future. This book is concerned with its role in the modernisation of Ireland. In so doing it also addresses topics of continued relevance for the Ireland of today, including the Northern Ireland Peace Process and the institutional care of children.


"Finn's documentation of the development of Tuarim adds to our understanding of the fifties and sixties"

(Bryan Fanning; University College Dublin, Studies; Volume 102; No 406)

"Meticulously researched, well-written and engaging - this is a book for all of us, a book that places issues to the fore and reforms ideas about the role of the 1950s in Irish historiography"

[Sarah-Anne Buckley, The Journal of the Galway and Archeological Society' Volume 65: 2013, p. 154]


Tomás Finn is a lecturer in Modern Irish History at National University of Ireland, Galway



NUI Galway School of Humanities Book Prize


List of figures
Note on terms used in Irish
1 Tuairim and the intellectual climate in Ireland
2 Representation and reform: Tuairim, the government and the Oireachtas
3 North and South: Tuairim and a divided island
4 Discourse and discord: Tuairim's challenge to the conservative consensus on education and childcare
5 Sense and Censorship: Tuairim and cultural conservatism Conclusion
Select Bibliography

Sign up to our newsletter
and receive 10% off all future book orders