Jeffers, J.M (2015) A historic perspective on flooding in Ireland’s coastal cities and its implications for current policy and practice. In: International Conference of Historical Geographers, 5-10 July 2015, Royal Geographical Society, London.


This paper highlights the importance of a historical analysis of flood hazards in contextualising current events and future risks. The cities of Dublin, Cork and Galway have experienced several major coastal, river and pluvial floods in recent years. In the aftermath of these floods, two distinct but related narratives have dominated public discourse and official responses. The first narrative presents recent floods as unprecedented and as possible evidence of climate change. The second constructs floods primarily as natural events and assumes that the optimal means of reducing flood losses is to prevent flood events. In this paper, I suggest that these narratives are not supported by a historical analysis of exposure and vulnerability to flood hazards in Irish cities. This paper draws on newspaper archives to construct a record of past flooding that challenges these narratives in several ways and suggest alternative policy approaches. In doing so this analysis offers lessons for similar cities in other countries.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2015 16:56
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 14:11
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