Download PDF by Nell McCafferty: A Woman to Blame. The Kerry Babies Case

By Nell McCafferty

Joanne Hayes, at 24 years of age, hid the delivery and demise of her child in County Kerry, eire, in 1984. accordingly she confessed to the homicide, by means of stabbing, of one other child. all the medical facts confirmed that she couldn't have had this moment child. The police however, insisted on charging her and, after the fees have been dropped, endured to insist that she had given start to twins conceived of 2 various males.

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Extra resources for A Woman to Blame. The Kerry Babies Case

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To understand what was done to Joanne Hayes, and why, and how much has changed as a result of that, it is necessary to set a context. When John Paul II came to Ireland in 1979, he preached against contraception, divorce and women’s work outside the home. There had been stirrings of modernity on the island, thanks to the Irishwomen’s Liberation Movement, founded in 1970, and accession to the European Union in 1972. The IWLM demand for the legalisation of contraception had met with popular support, and opposition from state and church.

There were tears, recriminations and promises of amendment. She would see this married man no more. Mary Locke had a baby on 25 June. Joanne Hayes miscarried on 30 June. Her relationship with Jeremiah Locke resumed in August. Her family had taken what steps they could to prevent her seeing him. There was a problem, they realised, as he used to bring her home from work of an evening. Joanne’s shift work and the infrequent bus service to and from Abbeydorney did not coincide, even if the bus could have been afforded.

Aquinas was a regular visitor to the farm. She’d often stay overnight. Sometimes, though not often, because she was a nun and elderly now, she’d go with them all up into the bog to cut and foot the turf. They’d bring sandwiches and tea and work and talk in the sunshine. Joanne would join them on those summer days. For all its cosmopolitan delights, the one thing Tralee couldn’t offer you was a day up in the bog, and there were few pleasures in the world like it. Aunt Joan, the acerbic red-haired cosmopolitan of the family, had returned from London in 1969 in the year of Bridie’s controversial retirement from hospital.

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A Woman to Blame. The Kerry Babies Case by Nell McCafferty


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