Heritage Tourism and the Commodification of Contested Spaces: Ireland and the Battle of the Boyne Site



McManus and O'Reilly explore the challenges of selling heritage for tourism purposes in the case of a contested heritage space with multiple meanings. Using the case study of the Battle of the Boyne site at Oldbridge, Co. Meath, the chapter presents the perspectives of different voices, and illustrates the shifting meanings of the site at a crucial phase in the Northern Irish peace process, before it was officially opened to the public, during the development process and following the opening of the visitor centre. Presenting a balanced and nuanced approach to such a symbolic space is difficult, but may help (re)construct new identities and memories. The chapter argues that commodification for tourism purposes, by neutralising the past, offers political as well as economic and social benefits.


World Heritage Site Peace Process Visitor Centre Cultural Tourism Heritage Tourism 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History and GeographyDublin City UniversityDrumcondra Dublin 9Ireland
  2. 2.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland

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