The Hotel is a site-specific project, based in three towns in County Roscommon in the midlands of Ireland – Boyle, Ballaghaderreen and Rooskey. Each town has a hotel which is no longer functioning for the purposes for which it was constructed. The history and narratives of each of these hotels and towns are individual, local, but for each there are circumstances, characteristics and consequences that speak to Ireland nationally, and larger forces internationally. I have a different relationship with each site, as the identities of guest and host have a differing and complex significance in each place. My account of these hotels, towns and the people I have met is interwoven with images, stories and narratives shared with me by others, and of my own experiences. There are descriptions and explanations of the contexts of these hotels - historically, geographically, socially and culturally. I also trace the historical and cultural significance of hospitality in Irish society, examining its links to the ancient Irish Brehon Law of hospitality, the Celtic revival and Irish literary renaissance, and other forms of narrating the Irish nation-state, such as tourism, to give how ‘we’ narrate hospitality a renewed focus.
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