Chapter 9 The Broader Role of the Boards of Guardians in Local Politics and Community 203
Chapter 9 The Broader Role of the Boards of Guardians in Local Politics and Community This chapter examines the broader role of the boards of guardians in the politicisation of Irish society. The fact that two rather dif ferent approaches to the provision of relief have been identified indicates that the role of the boards was important in the development of policy. Boards had consider- able discretion in how they applied the law and could and did decide on the precise approach to the provision of relief. At the same time, the degree of continuity in poor relief patterns over the nineteenth century indicates that the major reconstruction of the boards in the 1880s did not lead to dramatic changes in poor relief policy. So if Nationalists took over ‘con- trol’ of the southern boards, what use did they make of their new powers? And why did they bother to take over control of the boards at all? These questions point to the broader importance of the boards in Irish society and, in particular, in the politicisation of the Irish population. The term ‘politicisation’ is used in the sense that the politicisation of a group or a society is the socio-historic action by which political issues penetrate the daily lives of the members of that group or society: in the words of Cath- erine Ford ‘the formation of a political consciousness’.1 While some authors have presented the issue of politicisation as a contrast between ‘archaic’ and ‘modern’ forms of politics,...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.