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Patrimoine/Cultural Heritage in France and Ireland

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Edited By Eamon Maher and Eugene O'Brien

This collection of essays explores the concept of patrimoine, a French word used to denote cultural heritage, traditional customs and practices – the Gaelic equivalent is dúchas – and the extent to which it impacts on France and Ireland. Borrowing from disciplines as varied as sociology, cultural theory, literature, marketing, theology, history, musicology and business, the contributors to the volume unearth interesting manifestations of how patrimoine resonates across cultural divides and bestows uniqueness and specificity on countries and societies, sometimes in a subliminal manner.

Issues covered include debt as heritage, Guinness as a cultural icon of «Irishness», faith-based tourism, the Huguenot heritage in Ireland, Irish musical inheritances since Independence, Skellig Michael and the commodification of Irish culture.

With a Foreword by His Excellency M. Stéphane Crouzat, French Ambassador to Ireland, this collection breaks new ground in assessing the close links between France and Ireland, links that will become all the more important in light of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.

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7 Irish Cultural Heritage through the Prism of Guinness’s Ads in the 1980s (Patricia Medcalf)

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Patricia Medcalf

7 Irish Cultural Heritage through the Prism of Guinness’s Ads in the 1980s

When one ponders the question of Irish patrimony, time and again, four words enter the mind of this author – music, sport, drinking and Guinness. Their status in Irish heritage is well established, going back hundreds of years and, in many instances, their paths are intertwined, often deliberately so by writers and musicians. This chapter contends that in the 1980s Guinness blended many of its own decades-old symbols with more contemporary stimuli from music and sport, which were often influenced by international forces. Some might argue that this made Guinness seem less Irish but if that is true, does this make an Irish person who is open to international influences any less Irish? From its colourful backstory, to the ritual that surrounds the pouring of a pint, Guinness is capable of arousing intense feelings of pride among Irish drinkers and non-drinkers alike. For many decades, it has employed advertising in order to strengthen these bonds, bringing the brand’s visual signifiers to the fore and associating them with the essence of what it means to be Irish: in particular music, sport and socializing with a pint of its stout.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Ireland’s love affair with alcohol began in earnest when drinking became commonplace across all strands of society. Such was its ubiquity that it became one of the defining features of the nation’s identity, a constant presence at all...

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