Suburbia: social and spatial trends that emerged in Celtic Tiger Ireland.


  • Matthew Williams Department of Geography, University College Cork, Ireland.



suburbanisation, celtic tiger, tipperary, rural-urban interface, community, rural development


Long after the roar of the “Celtic Tiger” has become inaudible; its effects remain in the form of ghost estates, incomplete rural development and inadequate service provision across the Irish landscape. This paper will give a brief account of suburban housing development in Ireland as a whole, followed by a detailed discussion of development in a specific Irish case study, Clerihan, Co. Tipperary. Through the analysis of data produced from resident questionnaires, an evaluation and discussion of the key motivations of Clerihan’s “Celtic Tiger” in-migrants shall emerge for the purpose of comparison with international suburban migration incentives. These incentives shall be addressed under four overarching themes; suburbia as an idyllic space and place, suburbia as an exclusive community while maintaining previous social networks, suburbia as a product of social and economic competition, and suburbia as an interdependent product of transport availability.


Anderson, W., Kanaroglou, P., & Miller, E. (1996). Urban Form, Energy and the Environment; a review of issues, evidence and policy. Urban Studies, 33(1), 7 - 35.

Banister, D. (2009). Transport, Rural. The International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, 460-464.

Biobaku, S. (1967). The effect of Urbanisation on Education in Africa: The Nigerian Experience. The National Review of Education, 13(4), 451 - 460.

Bontje, M., & Burdack, J. (2005). Edge Cities, European Style: Example from Paris and the Randstad. Cities, 22(4), 317-330.

Brade, I., Herfert, G., & Wiest, K. (2009). Recent trends and future prospects of socio-spatial differentiantion in urban regions of Central and Eastern Europe. Cities, 233 - 244.

Clarke. (2008). Clerihan Community Council Development Plan. Kilkenny: Barnville Print & Graphics Ltd.

Clarke, D., & Woollett, L. (1990 ). English Village Services in the eighties. London: Rural Development Commission.

Dwyer, J., Ward, N., Lowe, P., & Baldock, D. (2007). European Rural Development under the Common Agricultural Policy's 'Second Pillar': Institutional Conservatism and Innovation. Regional Studies, 41, 873-888.

Fishman, R. (1987). Bourgeois Utopias: the rise and fall of suburbia. New York: Basic Books.

Flaherty, J., & Brown, R. (2010). A Multilevel system model of community attachment: assessing the relative importance of the community and individual levels. American Journal of Sociology, 116, 503-542.

Forster, C. (1999). Australian Cities: Continuity and Change. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Gkartzios, M., & Norris, M. (2010). "If you bild it, they will come": Governing property-led rural regeneration in Ireland. Land Use Policy, 28, 486-494.

Gray, J., Corcoran, M. P., & Peillon, M. (2009). Local Family Circles and Suburban Social Life in Ireland. Maynooth, Ireland: National Institute For Regional Development and Spatial Analysis.

Halfacree, K. H. (2009). Rural Populations. The International Encyclopaedia of Human Geography, 442.

Hayashi, Y., Doi, K., Yagishita, M., & Kuwata, a. M. (2004). Urban Transport Sustainability: Asian Trends, Problems. EJTIR, 4(1), 27-45.

Hodge, I. (1986). Rural Development and the Environment. Town Planning Review, 57, 175 - 186.

Hudson, R., & Williams, A. (1986). Western Europe, economic and social studies: The United Kingdom. London: Harper and Row Publishers.

Jackson, K. T. (1987). Crabgrass Frontier: The suburbanisation of the united states. New York: Ocford University Press.

Kenna. (2004). Desperately Seeking Exclusion: Intentions, Imagery and Socio-Spatial Outcomes of a Master Planned Estate (Glenmore Park). Sydney: University of New South Wales.

Kitchen, R., Gleeson, J., Keaveney, K., & O'Callaghan, C. (2010). A Haunted Landscape: Housing and Ghost Estates in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. Maynooth: National University of Ireland.

Kitchen, R., O'Callaghan, C., & Gleeson, J. (2012). Unfinished estates in Post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. National University of Ireland Maynooth: National Intitute for Regional and Spatial Analysis.

Knox, P. (2009). Urbanization. The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 112 - 118.

Litcher, D. T., & Brown, D. L. (2011). Rural America in an Urban Society: Changing Spatial and Social Boundaries. The annual Review of Sociology, 37, 565-592.

Mace, A. (2009). Suburbanisation. The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, 77 - 81.

Moloughney. (2011, february 16th). Clerihan Community Stunned by Shop Closure. The Clonmel Nationalist.

Neuman, W. L. (2000). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

O'Callaghan, C. (2013 (in prep)). Ghost Estates: Urban Geography after NAMA. In C. Crowley, & D. Linehan, Spacing Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Perry, R., Dean, K., & Brown, B. (1986). Counterurbanisation. Norwich: Geobooks.

Quirke, P. (2010). P.F. Quirke Ltd. Retrieved Feb 7th, 2013, from

Salamon, S. (2003). Newcomers to old towns: Suburbanisation of the Heartland. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Smith, M., & Krannich, R. (2000). "Culture Clash" revisited: newcomer and long-term residents' attitudes toward land use, development, and environmental issues in rural communities in the rocky mountain west. Rural Sociology, 65, 396-421.

Stockdale, A. (1993, Dec). Rural Service Provisions and the Impact of a Population Revival: A Study of Public Opinion in Northern Ireland. 25(4), 365 - 378.

Sudjic, D. (1993). The 100 mile city. San Diego: Harcourt Brace and Co.

Waitt, G., Mcguirk, P., Dunn, K., Hartig, K., & Burnley, I. (2000). Introducing Human Geography: Globalisation, Difference and Inequality. Sydney: Pearsons.

Williams, B., Hughes, B., & Redmond, D. (2012). Managing an unsustainable housing market. Urban Institute Ireland, University College Dublin (UCD UII 10/02).

Williams, M. (2011). View From Knockeevan.

Williams, S. (1995). View from Knockeevan.

Young, I. (1990). The Ideal of Community and Polotics of Difference. In L. Nicholson, Feminism/Post Modernism (pp. 300 - 323). New York: Routlegde.