Maternity and childwelfare:
setting the agenda, 1922–39
Ireland has been cursed with permissive Acts of Parliament1
The fight for national independence between 1919 and 1921, followed by a
civil war from 1922 to 1923, threw the Irish public health system into chaos.
Cumann na nGaedheal, the first Irish administration,2 battled between 1923
and 1932 to reinstall law and order, prioritising (largely out of necessity)
issues such as security, and political and financial reconstruction.3 Inexperience, conservatism and financial realities meant that the first
Childwelfare and local authorities
By the early twentieth century it was widely recognised that workhouses
were unsuitable institutions for children. However, many continued to
be relieved in workhouses and by the early 1920s renewed efforts were
being made to remove children from the newly named county homes.
This chapter examines the relationship between local boards of health
and public assistance and industrial schools. Furthermore it explores
the boarding-out system and highlights that this provision was at times
preferred to institutionalisation. This
Maternity and childwelfare pre-Independence
So the babies’ clubs were started
in a real viceregal way
With a feast of cakes from Scotland and a mighty flood o’ tay,
An’ Mrs Aberdeen was there in
her disinfected best,
An’ swallowed with her tay as
Many microbes as the rest.1
The framework legislation passed in relation to public health, prior to Irish
Independence, provided the backbone and logic for the haphazard system
that persisted in Ireland until its overhaul in the early 1950s. However, the
debates generated by certain pieces of legislation, and the
The origins of childwelfare in Ireland,
This chapter will set the scene for the remainder of the text by tracing the
origins of childwelfare, from the introduction of the Poor Law (Ireland) Act
in 1838 to the introduction of adoption legislation in 1952. Both of these
dates are significant markers in the history of child protection – and while
developments up to publication of the Kennedy Report in 1970 will be
mentioned, they represent the core of the discussion.1 Overall, the chapter
will assess the role of the State, the Catholic
rights had lost the interlocking, organic coherence of 1948,
but had regained an emphatic focus on the primordial needs of the person:
physical integrity, food and childwelfare delivered humans back to the
human rights programme.
Hearings Before the Subcommittees on Asian and
Pacific Affairs and on Human Rights and International Organizations
Motherhood is a complex issue involving the mechanics of pregnancy and childbirth and the life experience of mothering and rearing children. This book provides a detailed account of the history of maternity and child welfare in Dublin between 1922 and 1960. It places maternity and child welfare in the context of twentieth-century Irish history. The book offers accounts of how women and children were viewed, treated and used by key lobby groups in Irish society and by the Irish state. It explores the development of female 'social rights of citizenship' during the first forty years of Independence. Maternity and child welfare often provided the pretext for debate on issues quite apart from mothers and children, which related to the deep-seated fears regarding the power lines in Irish society. In Britain, awareness on infant mortality led to a series of investigative committees, including the Inter-Departmental Committee on Physical Deterioration and the National Conference of Infant Mortality. A constant theme throughout the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s was how the standard of maternity and child welfare services varied throughout the country. The book discusses the Dublin experiment. In the early part of the twentieth century, the ignorance of Dublin mothers was blamed for the high rate of infant mortality in the city. The stringency of the Emergency period, the sustained atmosphere of deprivation throughout the 1940s and the British White Paper, A National Health Service stimulated a debate in Ireland regarding the public health services.
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.
For much of the twentieth century women police often played a key role in the detection and prevention of child abuse, neglect and the 'policing of families'. This book examines the professional roles, identities, activities and experiences of women police in the United Kingdom. It comments on the gendering of modern surveillance technologies, on the relationship between justice and welfare, and on the changing situation of women in the twentieth century. The book shows that assumptions about class, status, gender and sexuality were both challenged and reinforced by women police. Although institutional structures and hierarchies - including those of gender -shaped the women police officers' professional experiences, the senior officers achieved considerable success in creating their own professional networks. The book examines the status and 'respectability' associated with women's work in the police service, and focuses on personal testimony in order to discuss women's perceptions of themselves. It analyses women's operations within the technologies of physical surveillance, dealing with both uniform beat patrol and undercover observations. The regulation of specific groups was done through policewomen's 'specialist' role: firstly, the policing of family, youth and child welfare; and secondly, the regulation of sexuality in relation to adult women. Given that police duties were shaped by legislative frameworks and by institutional strategies, opportunities to transform daily practice were ultimately limited. Despite positive and approbatory statements from women officers regarding integration, women as a whole were far less likely to be promoted than male colleagues in the 1970s and 1980s.
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
Object of International Relations: The Declaration of Children’s Rights and the ChildWelfare Committee of League of Nations, 1900–1924 ’,
International Journal of Children’s Rights ,
103 – 47 .
( 2006 ), ‘
Introduction: Making Human Rights Claims Public ’,
American Anthropologist ,
191 – 220 .
( 1990 ), ‘
Saving the Russian Children: Materials in the Archive of the Save the Children Fund Relating to Eastern Europe in 1920–23 ’,
The Slavonic and East European Review ,
Lewis Hine’s Photographs of Refugees for the American Red Cross, 1918–20
Sonya de Laat
a white savior as visual iteration of the familiar humanitarian narrative. There was also a strong gendering to the ARC’s iconography: women – and more specifically nurses – served as allegorical figures that helped to frame the ARC as an agency of caring nurturers, or embodiments of ‘The Greatest Mother in the World’ ( Irwin, 2013 : 86). Among the first pictures the ARC reproduced of Hine’s were those of the American Red Cross ChildWelfare Exhibition at St. Etienne, American soldiers resting and recuperating at ARC hospitals, and warehouses professionally