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Discuss the contention that Ireland is a classless society Class is what happens when some men as a result of common experiences inherited or shared feel and articulate the identity of their interests as between themselves and as against other men whose interests are different from and usually opposed to theirs EP Thompson 1968 One hundred years ago I might have been able to agree with the title of this essay I might have been passionately arguing with the ideologists of the time who took pleasure in lauding Ireland as classless society Years ago Irish citizens were able to take solace in the fact that their national and cultural identity was assured-being born of Irish heritage virtually guaranteed them Irish citizenship Irish citizens as so often occurs throughout the world defined themselves against a neighbouring in this case a tyrannical country which lies across the Irish Sea-Great Britain For years Irish people were united in the search for independence autonomy of some kind for a forgotten island off the coast of Europe First Wolftone then Parnell led the fight against foreign rule in Ireland For a good proportion of the population Irish autonomy took preference over petty definitions like class These two gentlemen both from landed backgrounds both Protestants united a diverse population These men had money status and property and although evidently born into different class than the average rural farmer in Ireland according to EP Thompsons definition this disparate group of people varying in social status and prestige can be defined as a class Back to present day Ireland and the autonomous modern society that is Ireland Nowadays class structures within our society have become more apparent largely because of the shift from an agrarian society to a manufacturing one the shift out of agriculture has been central to changes in class structure and to absolute social mobility rates in Ireland Tovey and Share 2003124 The recent trend in Ireland has
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