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Child welfare, the NSPCC and the State in Ireland, 1889–1956

The Cruelty Man represents the first comprehensive account of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in Ireland, from its foundations in 1889, to the passing of responsibilities to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) in 1956. In both Britain and Ireland, the NSPCC was at the forefront of the child protection movement, yet the history of the Society in Ireland has not been fully addressed. This book aims to fill this vacuum.

It provides a study of the Society, while also utilising it as a vehicle to examine the treatment of poverty-stricken children and families by the State. More broadly, it contains a comprehensive history of child welfare from the introduction of the Poor Law in 1838 to the publication of the Kennedy Report in 1970. It addresses issues surrounding institutionalisation, welfare, family violence, compulsory education, child abuse and the role of charity in the provision of welfare. Based on research of the available records of the NSPCC archive, and court records, the text also explores changing concepts of childhood. It will appeal to both an academic and general audience, as it uses case studies of families investigated by the Society and the State. It will be essential to students of Irish social history, gender studies, social work and social policy. More generally it will interest those observing recent reports into child abuse in State institutions and in particular the history of Ireland’s industrial school system. The foreword by Vincent Browne also demonstrates its contemporary relevance.

Since 1980s, there has been a steady stream of excellent work on the politics of literature and the literature of politics in seventeenth century England. Work on Andrew Marvell has seen a resurgence in the new millennium, driven by landmark scholarly editions of both his poetry and his prose. This book invites readers to entertain the prospect of placing Marvell at the centre of the literary landscape, exploring how such placement would shift people's perceptions of seventeenth-century literary culture. It presents a collection of essays that are divided into three sections. The first section asks readers to consider novel ways in which early modern and contemporary readers have conceived of texts and their position in the public world of print consumption and critical practice. It focuses on the relationship between literary texts and their historical moments, aesthetics, contextualisation of the religious, political, or social and Marvell's lasting awareness of and fascination with the public. The second section outlines seventeenth-century accounts and perceptions of child abuse, and the problems of identifying and recounting the experience of abuse and the broader significance of the appeal to Marvell of European poetry. The last section takes up issues of literary relations between prominent authors of the century. It illustrates how Marvell's depiction also stands in relation to Dutch representations of de Ruyter's victory, which emphasised the martial heroism as well as the negative consequences of the English monarchy's economic policies.

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Mark O’Brien

that led to the Beef Tribunal, it would take ‘outsiders’ to initially lift the veil and reveal the true extent of child abuse in Ireland. In October 1994, UTV’s Counterpoint programme revealed the activities of Fr Brendan Smyth, a member of the Norbertine Order, who in March 1991 had been charged with sexual assault against minors in Northern Ireland. Smyth had then crossed the border and had spent nearly three years living in his order’s abbey in County Cavan. In January 1994, he returned voluntarily to Northern Ireland and in June of that year received a four

in The Fourth Estate
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The story of a voice
Emer Nolan

with O’Connor’s biography, this doe-eyed child looking shyly at the camera, her fingertips pressed together in a gauche attempt at a prayerful pose, represents a disturbing image of Irish Catholic identity. O’Connor had already associated child abuse with Black historical experience when she sang a version of Marley’s ‘War’, substituting the words ‘child abuse’ for ‘racism’ in several of the lines. This was just before she ripped up the picture of the Pope. She reprises ‘War’ on the final track on Throw down your arms. Yet what relationship exists between O

in Five Irish women
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David Geiringer

within marriage, notably birth control, but other aspects of the Church’s approach to sexuality have been making the headlines in recent years. The revelations of clerical child abuse shook the world. 7 The Oscar-winning film Spotlight (2016) offered a chilling insight into the extent of the crimes that were committed, while also illustrating the central role of the media in uncovering and then

in The Pope and the pill
Open Access (free)
Defences advanced in early modern sodomy trials in Geneva
William G. Naphy

defendant, striving to avoid a conviction – and death – for sexual deviance. For the most part, Geneva’s authorities used a range of generalised terms for these sexual crimes. However, evidence internal to the cases suggests that they were prosecuting with subtlety and discrimination. This chapter proposes to treat these cases in groupings, which reflect the behaviour of the prosecutors and defendants: adult, same-sex acts; bestiality; lesbianism; child abuse; ‘deviant’ heterosexuality; pre-adolescent sexual activity; and incest. Each of these terms – save incest – is

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700
Thinking infantile eroticism
Victoria Best and Martin Crowley

reconciliation, the works of Christine Angot offering something of a paradigm here. Many texts treat this issue sensitively and creatively, but some, in their use of graphic sexual detail (Angot once again exemplary) blur the borderlines between a detailed and provocative exposure of child abuse, and a collapse into the pornographic. On the furthest end of this scale, there have also been some notably controversial texts, such as

in The new pornographies
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Childhood, sexuality and The Smiths
Sheila Whiteley

Whiteley 105 focus in 1983 when The Sun claimed that the BBC was holding an emergency meeting to decide whether a song about child abuse should be broadcast on the David Jensen Show. According to correspondent Nick Ferrari, the lyrics to ‘Handsome Devil’ – the B-side to The Smiths’ first single, ‘Hand In Glove’ (1983) – contained ‘clear references to picking up kids for sexual kicks’.10 While this was subsequently recognised as tabloid-led sensationalism, the BBC took the precautionary measure of removing a specially recorded sixminute version of another song, ‘Reel

in Why pamper life's complexities?
The fraught relationship between women and the Catholic Church in Ireland
Sharon Tighe-Mooney

Catholic Church was in no position to voice its concern about these developments at the time, in the wake of the child-​ abuse and Magdalene laundry revelations. Moreover, the response in the public forum to the litany of Church-​related offences has been to reject the institutional Church and, consequently, impede the creation of a space for the evaluation of the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism. As a result, attempting to explore aspects of the Catholic Church without falling into outright condemnation of the entire institution and of its members is deemed insular

in Tracing the cultural legacy of Irish Catholicism
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Taking the Green Road
Emer Nolan

of Church and state indifference and cover-up – is widely seen as key to understanding what Liam Harte describes as ‘the unacknowledged trauma endured by generations of unknown Irish bodies made abject by postcolonial nationalism’.47 The narrator of The gathering makes informed reference to the exposure of child abuse from the 1990s onwards; this promises to shed new light on both the fictional Hegartys and on Ireland. Veronica declares (in a perhaps incongruous idiom) that ‘this is the anatomy and mechanism of a family – a whole fucking country – drowning in shame

in Five Irish women