Crossing The Borders (Episode 6) - Pluralist and Prosperous Europeans

Crossing The Borders (Episode 6) - Pluralist and Prosperous Europeans

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Cong, Dublin, Galway, Maynooth College, Mayo, Westport




Transmission 01/05/1997


24min 11sec







Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


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Presbyterian minister John Dunlop crosses to the south of Ireland, examining shifting and multi-faceted notions of identity and nationhood. In his meetings and conversations with a variety of individuals, he seeks to learn about the past, present and future of those who live on the other side of the border divide.

The benefits to Ireland of joining the European Union (EU) are considered, be it the funding which has allowed for improvements to infrastructure - such as the investment in the road network - or the simple fact that it places Ireland firmly in the context of Europe. Gaining membership of the EU was not a simple matter and many credit past Taoiseach, Seán Lemass, with the accomplishment. He facilitated industry growth, foreign investment into the country and made secondary education free which, Grace Semply believes, led Ireland to become an affluent society. Prof. Joe Lee also mentions that, due to the jobs created during Lemass's time in office, emigration slowed down which helped alleviate previous anti-British feeling. 

Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Yates, agrees that his generation, "carry very little baggage of the past, we are looking upward and forward to the future". With the growth of the economy came the liberalisation of laws, which Nuala O'Faolain states is "quite dizzying," for example, the speed at which laws changed with regards to homosexuality.

However, the growth in the economy has led to a widening gap between those who are better off and those who are not. Fr. Sean Healy and Fr. Pat O'Brien state that the contrast is particularly noticeable when rural Ireland is compared to the bank money-rich Dublin. 

Concluding the episode, Fr. Colm Kilcoyne, Prof. Sean Freyne and Fr. Enda McDonagh discuss the prospect of modernising the Catholic Church.


Reverend John Dunlop, is a retired former Presbyterian minister. He has been one of the most significant figures in Irish Presbyterianism, from the latter-half of the twentieth century to the present day.


Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI) 

A Northland Production for UTV

Presented by John Dunlop



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