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THE unique development of Shannon town in the 1960s will feature in the hugely popular Building Ireland series next week.

Geographer Susan Hegarty discovers how the success of the Shannon Airport Free Trade Zone sparked the building of Ireland’s first new town in 300 years. 

Emerging as a response to rural decline and depopulation in the 1950s, new industrial jobs prompted the construction of a new community on a greenfield site, built to the latest ideas in urban planning.  

Shannon Newtown became a multi-cultural oasis in rural Ireland and provided a model of socio economic development that was exported to places like China and changed the lives of millions.

“Building Ireland brings viewers on a journey around Ireland and explains aspects of built heritage and local landscapes which many people may see on a daily basis, but which they rarely question.  This is the power of public broadcasting at its height – creating a public who are informed and enthusiastic about their surroundings, and proud of their heritage,” Susan said. 

Catch the Shannon town episode of Building Ireland on RTÉ One at 8pm on Thursday, May 14.

Clare Echo Recruitment

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