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The cruelty manChild welfare, the NSPCC and the State in Ireland, 1889-1956$
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Sarah-Anne Buckley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087660

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087660.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

The NSPCC ‘in transition’, 1922–56

The NSPCC ‘in transition’, 1922–56

3 (p.70) The NSPCC ‘in transition’, 1922–56
The cruelty man

Sarah-Anne Buckley

Manchester University Press

Chapter Three addresses the period from 1922 to the setting up of the ISPCC in 1956. From 1922, the Society had to adjust its focus to survive in independent Ireland. This notion of ‘crisis and change’ was not unique to the Irish Society, but Irish circumstances exacerbated the need for changing foci. In the aftermath of the First World War, many states had engaged in a discourse on the rights of children, the role of the State in child welfare and interventions in the family. For the Irish NSPCC, the challenges to its existence were significantly increased due to the Catholic Church’s increasing influence in child welfare; a loss in the earlier financial support provided by the Anglo-Irish; and increasing numbers of families approaching it for material assistance. Its response was to redefine its role - now providing advice and material assistance, not solely threatening and prosecuting parents. The expansion and re-categorisation of child neglect was central to this, as was the Society’s efforts in highlighting issues of over-crowding, children’s courts, widow’s pensions, poor relief, illegitimacy, and desertion. Although these were pertinent issues, the issues the Society chose to ignore demonstrate its continuing collaboration with the State, most significantly in its involvement in prosecuting parents and sending children to industrial schools.

Keywords:   NSPCC, industrial schools, Catholic social work agencies, child neglect, advice sought, family welfare, mothers and child protection, rights of children, ISPCC

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