The Ideology and Mechanics of Ignorance: Child Abuse in Ireland 1922-1973.

Keating, Anthony (2016) The Ideology and Mechanics of Ignorance: Child Abuse in Ireland 1922-1973. AGNOSIS, POWER AND HARM SYMPOSIUM, 11th March 2016, Edge Hill University.

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This presentation will explore the imposition of a rigidly enforced code of denial in regard to sexual immorality in the post-colonial Irish Free State. The focus of this was the preservation of a founding myth of national religiosity, purity and virtue leaving those who bore witness to the fallibility of this myth, through word or deed, no matter how inadvertently, to be branded as other/non-Irish. It will be demonstrated that the main actors driving this policy, both religious and political, utilised legislative and non-legislative methods of social control. This in turn supported a general willingness by Free State citizens to maintain ignorance on the issue; borne in part from religio-national conviction, and concern over being branded non-Irish/anti-Catholic. Furthermore, it will be argued that the Nation’s children were to bear the brunt of the consequences of this manufactured ignorance, especially those living in the Nation’s industrial and reformatory schools, for decades to come.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Law and Criminology
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2016 14:18

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