A Selective Place for the Nation: Employment of Urban Commemorative Space in Dublin

Authors: Kara Dempsey*, Appalachian State University
Topics: Political Geography, Urban Geography, Cultural Geography
Keywords: Urban Space, Nationalism, Discourses of Power, Commemoration, Geopolitics
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Washington 3, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban built environments, particularly those created for certain religious, political or even civic purposes, often hold great power and meaning within society. They can function as one of many ways through which values or beliefs are communicated. This includes efforts to shape national memory through urban space like the Republic of Ireland’s Garden of Remembrance. While it was established to commemorate those who died fighting for the Irish nation, it contains selected symbols and narratives about Irish history that are designed to legitimize and celebrate a selected image of the Irish Republic. The Garden is a commemorative space that serves as a mirror into efforts in the Republic of Ireland as it continues to negotiate its relationship with the United Kingdom and struggles with certain historical elements of its own past and contemporary society. This paper examines how different government agencies, social and political movements, and the general public employ the Garden of Remembrance as a venue for negotiating national identities in the Republic of Ireland and its relationship with Northern Ireland and the British crown.

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