Listening to the Cultural Heritage of Coastal Communities in the West of Ireland

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Book Chapter

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In Ireland the term “Environmental Humanities” has become useful to define the relationship between humanity and nature.

This chapter argues that human cultural heritage is created with reference to a specific place over a long period of time. The west of Ireland has a rich cultural heritage forged in an environment where communities were formed in an interplay between land and sea. While the environment demanded a struggle to survive, communities developed a rich local knowledge that encouraged a co-operative labor system [‘meitheal’], and it is common to refer to the Irish saying ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine’ [under the shelter of each other, people survive, or people live in each other’s shadows]. The way forward is to build a working relationship between the government, the scholarly academy, and local communities, where the experience of workable and sustainable policies are grounded in science, local knowledge, and the diversity of cultural heritage.


ISBN 9781527590014 (print); 9781527590021 (ebook)

The full text ebook is available to authorized Sacred Heart University users.

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