December 12, 2014


de Búrca vs the Attorney General: Gains for both women and men

vector scales of justice and gavel

On this day in 1975 the Supreme Court reached a judgement in the de Búrca vs the Attorney General case that resulted in the Fine Gael-Labour National Coalition government introducing the Juries Act, 1976.  The Act reversed legislation from the 1920s that excluded female jurors. Though regularly cited as a step-forward for women’s rights, it is frequently overlooked […]

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November 10, 2014


Negotiating #SocMedia4Hist: Seminar at the IHR

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Things have been a little quiet around the blog recently as I’ve been focussing on my Modern Wife, Modern Life exhibition, which opens at the National Print Museum of Ireland in July 2015 and examines the perceptions and representations of women in 1960s Ireland as seen through the pages of women’s magazines. Happily, my crowd-funding efforts […]

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October 9, 2014


Please Support Modern Wife, Modern Life exhibition on Fund It

Help Fund 'Modern Wife, Modern Life'.

Modern Wife, Modern Life is my exhibition running at the National Print Museum of Ireland  between August and October 2015. It explores the idea of the ‘modern wife’ in 1960s Ireland as seen through the pages of women’s magazines. Please consider showing your support for the exhibition by donating on Fund It. A private tour for you and two guests, a limited edition booklet, […]

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September 26, 2014


Modern Wife, Modern Life Exhibition at the National Print Museum of Ireland


I am delighted to announce that the National Print Museum of Ireland has agreed to host my exhibition, Modern Wife, Modern Life. It will run between August and October 2015.

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September 20, 2014


How to Attract a Husband and be a Good Wife – 1960s style!

Housewife postcard

Ever seen those cards on Facebook? The ones that offer a twist on what it means to be a domestic goddess? Humorous though they are, such retro postcards offer a satirical commentary on advice once given to housewives. Regular readers of this blog will know by now that women’s magazines are the main source for my current […]

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September 13, 2014

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(When) Should Children be Told the Facts of Life?

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In my latest research into everyday lives in the 1960s using women’s magazines as my main source, I have noticed repeated references to the facts of life and different debates about the extent to which children should receive sex education. During the week I stumbled across the 2006 main report from the Irish Study of Sexual […]

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September 6, 2014


‘Obvious Child': a Refreshing Take on Abortion in Film


As my research on unwanted pregnancy touches on depictions in popular culture, I headed into London earlier today to see the film Obvious Child. Briefly, the plot centres on Donna Stern, a late-twenty-something woman who has an abortion after a one-night stand. But rather than trotting out the familiar cliches that audiences have almost come to expect, this […]

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September 1, 2014


Can you help? Crowd-sourcing the 1960s


My current research project focusses heavily on the 1960s, looking at everyday lives in general and the domestic setting in particular. There are three strands to the outputs for this project: a book, journal article and an exhibition (more on that at a later stage). My research to date has been concentrated mostly on women’s […]

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August 4, 2014


Pushing the Boundaries: Sex Advice in Women’s Magazines, 1960s Ireland

First Night

Manuals on how to be a good wife were widely available in Ireland at the start of the twentieth century. Publications such as The Young Wife (1938 edition), provided women with practical advice on such matters as housekeeping and budgeting, or emotional guidance on understanding and caring for her husband. They did not, however, generally offer advice […]

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July 27, 2014


Advertising Domestic Violence?

Kincora Carpets advertisement

Last week afforded me the opportunity to spend the week at the National Library of Ireland continuing my research on the everyday lives of Irishwomen. I was working my way through copies of Woman’s Way magazine from the mid-1960s when I discovered somewhat unsettling advertisements for Kincora Carpets. The advertisements recognised the fact that women were […]

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