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The End of the Irish Poor Law?Welfare and healthcare reform in revolutionary and independent Ireland$
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Donnacha Seán Lucey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087578

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087578.001.0001

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Single mothers and institutionalisation

Single mothers and institutionalisation

(p.82) 3 Single mothers and institutionalisation
The End of the Irish Poor Law?

Donnacha Seán Lucey

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the institutionalisation of unmarried mothers during the Free State. It explores the place of a range of institutions including county homes, Magdalen laundries and mother and baby homes. In particular, it examines the dynamics that led to institutionalisation of women into mother and baby homes. It also concentrates on the institutional regimes, particularly looking at county homes. It examines to what extent where these institutions representative of what has been termed Ireland ‘architecture of containment’. It concludes that Mother and Baby Homes were incarceral-type institutions while county homes were more flexible. This chapter provides important material relating to mother and baby homes which is relevant to modern debates and controversies.

Keywords:   Unmarried mothers, county homes, mother and baby homes, illegitimacy, infant mortality, institutional conditions

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