Industrial growth and regional development in the Republic of Ireland

Duffy, James A (1980) Industrial growth and regional development in the Republic of Ireland. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis sets out to examine the 'Irish Miracle' - the recent favourable economic performance exhibited by the Irish Republic, and more particularly the growth of the industrial sector, which has shown rapid and continuous development throughout the 1960's and '70's, which has been mainly export-led growth, and chiefly through foreign investment. It attempts to put this so-called 'miracle' into perspective, comparing the overall national economic trends with those of other 'western' economies, and, more importantly, looking at the extent of progress which has been made towards regional convergence within Ireland itself. The first chapter outlines the general economic and industrial change which has taken place since 'Independence', and thus sets out the background against which more recent performance may be assessed. Particular attention is given to the reasons for, and the type of change which took place in the late 1950's, with the move from protection to industrial development under free trade. It further describes the country's short demographic history, which shows some links with economic performance, and which has been used as a barometer of national economic health. Chapter two looks at the needs for both overall national economic growth, and for regional development to alleviate, in particular, the East-West differential in terms of economic and social wellbeing. Firstly, national performance is compared with that of other countries, chiefly in the E.E.C., showing the development gap which still has to be bridged, and thus outlining the case for national rather than a regional policy options to be pursued. The regional imbalance is also outlined, giving some idea of the regional planning problems to be faced. The discussion then focuses on the various development strategies which have been suggested, ranging from Buchanons growth centre strategy to the dispersed development advocated by the Government and by the Industrial Development Authority in the early 1970's. Those themes are further developed in chapter three which looks at the development of planning in Ireland at both the national and sub-national level. Emphasis in particular is given to the adequacies of regional planning to date, and to possible alternative mechanisms of enacting regional policies, which could loosen the administrative straight jacket imposed by central authorities. The fourth, and main chapter, focuses attention on the Industrial Development Authority, which has a national responsibility to foster industrial development, and which has been largely responsible for the large volume of foreign investment which has been attracted to Ireland in recent years. The work of the Authority has influence beyong that of simply attracting industrial growth, and this has been recognised in its remit to foster national regional policy objectives. This, together with looking at the absolute volume of employment growth generated, and the main instruments behind this, overall performance will be looked at in terms of its compliance with regional development aims. The main theme of the penultimate chapter is that of Ireland in the E.E.C. and in particular the benefits from Membership, as they relate to both industrial and regional development. More important is the future for Ireland within the E.E.G. which is highly dependent on the discretionary application of rules and regulations by the European Commission. Discussion in particular will centre on the Community's Competition Policy, mainly as it relates to State Aids to Industry, the continuation of which is vital to Ireland's future industrial prosperity. Consideration will be given to how the country has been affected by these Policy regulations to date, and possible implications for the future. The concluding chapter looks at progress to date, and considers the possible repercussions of recent economic and demographic trends, and gives some tentative suggestions as to what the future might hold for Ireland. It will also consider any possible lessons which might be learned from recent experience in Ireland, relating both to industrial growth and to regional development.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Gordon Adams
Keywords: Urban planning, Area planning & development
Date of Award: 1980
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1980-74120
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74120

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