No aspect of the history of County Mayo has been so neglected as the history of the lives and
experiences of women. This collection of histories seeks to address critical aspects of this deficit.
A broad range of sources and a wide selection of Mayo case studies are used to explore the
position of Mayo women who encountered the law and legal system in the nineteenth and early
The themes considered include discrimination, the breakdown of relationships, domestic
violence, murder, infanticide, abortion, prostitution, rape, abduction, and same-sex relationships.
The use of mental health legislation and institutional confinement to control, manage and
suppress women is also considered. The lack of accountability for physical and sexual abuse in
public institutions and the difficulties faced by women seeking to prosecute sexual predators are
For the first time, the Magdalene Asylum, which operated in Westport, is scrutinised, and its
importance as an early example of the undertaking to contain women is highlighted. The
position of women before Ireland's most unforgiving tribunal, the Court of Public Opinion,
which ruthlessly enforced the social policing of women, is also examined.
Criminal Conversation with My Wife
- Product Code: Michael O'Connor
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