The Ideology and Mechanics of Ignorance: Child Abuse in Ireland 1922-1973.

Anthony Keating

Research output: Contribution to conferenceLecture


This presentation will explore the imposition of a rigidly enforced code of denial in regard to sexual immorality in the post-colonial Irish Free State. The focus of this was the preservation of a founding myth of national religiosity, purity and virtue leaving those who bore witness to the fallibility of this myth, through word or deed, no matter how inadvertently, to be branded as other/non-Irish. It will be demonstrated that the main actors driving this policy, both religious and political, utilised legislative and non-legislative methods of social control. This in turn supported a general willingness by Free State citizens to maintain ignorance on the issue; borne in part from religio-national conviction, and concern over being branded non-Irish/anti-Catholic. Furthermore, it will be argued that the Nation’s children were to bear the brunt of the consequences of this manufactured ignorance, especially those living in the Nation’s industrial and reformatory schools, for decades to come.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 11 Mar 2016
EventAgnosis, Power And Harm Symposium - Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Mar 2016 → …


ConferenceAgnosis, Power And Harm Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period11/03/16 → …


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