“The heart of the book is a clear, cogent and persuasive account of how this crisis was created. […] And while this is a source of anger, it might also be a source of hope: what bad public policy has wrought, better policy can undo.” – Fintan O’Toole The Irish Times
The history of the internet in Ireland is also a history of the companies who control it. When the tech giants arrived in Ireland, they were embraced with open arms by a flourishing Celtic Tiger. From Dublin’s unprecedented housing crisis to the communities uprooted by Google, Aoife Barry and Rory Hearne examine the fallout from this Faustian bargain.
Barry’s book, Social Capital, analyses how our lives have changed in the shadow of the tech revolt. She chronicles how virtual reality has collapsed into our physical reality, and what these new circumstances demand of our political leaders. Housing expert Rory Hearne’s Gaffs approaches the same situation with a focus on the crisis facing the country’s tenant class. He persuasively details how the crisis was deliberately created, who benefits from it, and how this malfeasance might be undone.
These two investigations into the most pressing issues in our lives are relayed with insight, prescience and often a delightfully wry sense of humour about the sheer state we find ourselves in.
Aoife Barry and Rory Hearne will be in conversation with journalist Aoife Martin.
Aoife Barry is Assistant News Editor at TheJournal.ie, producer of The Explainer podcast, and author of Social Capital: Life Online in the Shadow of Ireland’s Tech Boom.
Rory Hearne is a lecturer in Social Policy at the Maynooth University. His works include Housing Shock: The Irish Housing Crisis and How to Solve It (2020) and Gaffs: Why No One Can Get a House, and What We Can Do About It (2022).
Aoife Martin is an activist and writer. In her spare time she enjoys reading (naturally), going to the cinema and swimming.