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Non-agricultural employment in northwestern Ireland: A peripheral region in the 1970s

Seamus Grimes


Considerable spatial variation characterized the pattern of return migration and subsequent house construction during the 1970s in the northwest. Ireland's poorest and most peripheral region. Underlying this pattern of growth and decline was a sectoral shift from agriculture to non-agricultural employment. The provision of such employment was greatly influenced by a regional policy which focussed primarily on promoting manufacturing industry and which resulted in a definite contrast between County Donegal and Sligo-Leitrim in the level of dispersal of grant-aided employment. Despite the emphasis on manufacturing an expanding public service ensured a considerable role for the service sector in creating employment, and while service employment was more closely linked with a variety of positive indicators it was somewhat less dispersed than manufacturing.

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