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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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Institutionalisation, the State and the NSPCC

Institutionalisation, the State and the NSPCC

4 (p.110) Institutionalisation, the State and the NSPCC
The cruelty man

Sarah-Anne Buckley

Manchester University Press

Chapter Four looks specifically at the use of institutionalisation by the State and the NSPCC to ‘deal’ with children and families in poverty. It will show that, although industrial schools, reformatories and borstals were established in the nineteenth century in many countries, the continuation from the 1920s of a policy of institutionalising poor children for long periods was a particularly Irish phenomenon. Financial and religious concerns superseded the welfare of those children committed to industrial schools and reformatories, and the NSPCC was prominent in many of these committals. As discussions in parliament, in official reports, and by dissenting voices demonstrate, there was an acknowledgement of the problems in industrial schools, but they continued to be effectively unregulated by the State. The relationship between the NSPCC inspectors, the courts, the Gardaí and the religious orders shows the web of bureaucracy that maintained punitive, regimented institutions so akin to prisons in the public mind. Finally, the chapter looks at the experiences of those in the schools and the history of the schools up to the publication of the Kennedy Report in 1970.

Keywords:   Industrial schools, NSPCC, Kennedy report, institutionalisation, poverty, juvenile delinquency, reformatory schools, residential care, abuse in institutional care in Ireland

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