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Picture of Ireland


A Colony Once Again

Author(s): Seán Ó Nualláin
Subject: Irish Studies

Book Description

On Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, the socialist writer James Connolly ordered an armed group to march down Dame Street in Dublin, in what became a citizens’ occupation of Dublin city centre. As Connolly hoped, the shockwave launched by the doomed uprising kindled fires of revolution throughout the colonies during all of the 20th century.

On 18 November 2010, a small unescorted group of IMF technocrats walked down Dame Street – home of their goal, the Irish Central Bank – to articulate the re-colonisation of Ireland.

Ireland: A Colony Once Again first explains the lack of public protest by the Irish in the face of a grim future. In particular, the author argues that the IMF move simply cemented in place a deal done long ago between globalized corporatism and Irish Catholic nationalism. Almost all sectors of Irish civil society that might have offered resistance, including Connolly’s Labour movement, had long ago been bought off or destroyed.

However, the vacuum created by the perceived fall of the neoliberal world order in 2008 affords an opportunity to re-construct Ireland. In particular, the author argues that the mechanisms used to buttress the current order – from the state security apparatus to the mainstream media – have a less firm hold on power than appears at first sight to be the case. Furthermore, given its history, culture and geographic location, Ireland is very well placed to re-imagine and re-invent itself in a short space of time, in freedom and joy.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4085-9
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4085-8
Date of Publication: 01/10/2012
Pages / Size: 310 / A5
Price: £49.99


Seán Ó Nualláin holds an MSc in Psychology from University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland, and a PhD in Computer Science from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. He has been a Visiting Scholar at both Stanford and UC Berkeley continually (2002–2012), eventually being appointed a faculty member by academic senate in both institutions; and directs the independent non-profit organisation, Nous Research, and the independent college trading as University of Ireland in the US. In 2012, he founded the International Congress of Irish studies, which held its highly successful first conference at UC Berkeley in July, 2012.

He was Science and Technology convenor, and member of national council of the Green Party, Ireland, 1997–2003, before resigning in 2003 after an internal coup. From 1997–2003, the Green Party’s representation at national level tripled; it is now at pre-1997 levels.

He participated in the successful Irish campaign against e-voting, 2004–2006, and with help from Stanford colleague, David Dill, coached the deputy leader of the Irish Labour party before her critical 2004 parliamentary address on the subject.

He won the critical Irish tenure case, resulting in disciplinary procedures being rewritten in favour of all university employees (including non-academic, 2003) and was a co-founder of the Musician’s Union of Ireland, 2003.

After being unfairly dismissed from DCU, winning three separate judgements, he worked the French jazz circuit and the American folk circuit between 2002 and 2005 as a guitarist with his partner Melanie O' Reilly; together they also produced the award-winning radio show “Jazz on the Bay”, in which they interviewed – inter alia – David Brubeck, Chick Corea and closet jazz pianist Clint Eastwood. In recent years, Seán Ó Nualláin has taught both at UC Berkeley and Stanford, and published refereed papers in biology and neuroscience with Walter Freeman and the late Richard Strohman of UC Berkeley. As well as being a single author of papers in these and other subjects, he has had his courses at Stanford endorsed by Patrick Suppes.

He is the author of a book on the foundations of cognitive science: The Search for Mind (Ablex, 1995; 2nd edition, Intellect, 2002; 3rd edition, Intellect, 2003), co-editor of Two Sciences of Mind (with Paul Mc Kevitt and Eoghan Mac Aogain; Benjamins, 1997), editor of Spatial Cognition, and co-editor of Language, Vision, and Music (Benjamins, 2002) and Ireland in Crisis (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, forthcoming). His Being Human: The Search for Order (Intellect, 2002) sold out its first print-run immediately and has been published in a second edition (2004).

He is also an avid sportsman who has won squash, tennis, rugby, and racquetball championships in Ireland, the US, and Canada.