• Tony Tracy
  • Conn Holohan


In September 2011 — as an interdisciplinary group of scholars gathered at NUI Galway to consider shifting representations of masculinity within Irish culture over the preceding, momentous, decade — the country was in the final phases of an eventful presidential election. While political campaigns are, by their nature, topical, this one was remarkable in several respects, but particularly for the way that it revealed the uncertain state of Irish manhood. The context for the election was one in which gender was unusually prominent for Irish politics since the office of President had been successively held (and subsequently shaped) for the previous 21 years by two remarkable women — Mary Robinson (1990–7) and Mary McAleese (1997–2011). Robinson was a highly regarded lawyer, scholar and feminist who later became the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; McAleese an equally brilliant academic, lawyer and journalist with a common touch who worked tirelessly and with great success for building relationships across the ‘peace divide’ in her native Northern Ireland, and whose presidency would culminate in the historic and unprecedented visit of a British monarch to the Irish Republic.


Peace Process Popular Music Irish Theatre Gender Body Irish Identity 
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  1. 1.
    Noel Whelan, ‘What you’ll need to be the next president: do you have it all? Style substance and empathy? Then you could be in the running to be Ireland’s nex t First Citizen,’ Irish Times, 4 September 2010, p. 12.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    Key texts include, Debbie Ging, Men and Masculinities in Irish Cinema (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brian Singleton, Masculinities and the Contemporary Irish Theatre (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011);Google Scholar
  4. Joseph Valente, The Myth of Manliness in Irish National Culture, 1880–1922 (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2011);Google Scholar
  5. Fintan Walsh, Male Trouble: Masculinity and the Performance of Crisis (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caroline Magennis and Raymond Mullen (eds), Irish Masculinities: Reflections on Literature and Culture (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2011).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    Noel McLaughlin and Martin McLoone, Rock and Popular Music in Ireland: Before and After U2 (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2012), 231–52.Google Scholar

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© Tony Tracy and Conn Holohan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Tracy
  • Conn Holohan

There are no affiliations available

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